What A Ripper … Leo Loves Lucy

Published by Aushorse Marketing – Monday 15th June 2020

When rank outsider, Love You Lucy, poked her head through at just the right time to capture the Group Two Quincy Dane Ripper Stakes over 1400m at Eagle Farm on Saturday, it’s a toss up as to who was the most excited … breeder/owner, Leo Goggins, or his grandson, Sam, who sent him a text post-race to say he’d had $10 each way for a “lazy 500”.

Love You Lucy (Trackside Photography image)

“It’s a huge thrill all round,” Goggins enthused. “I first got involved in a syndicate around 50 years ago and then spent a while in Western Australia where we raced some trotters. But this has been our biggest success by a mile.

“We’ve shared ownership of thoroughbreds with a large group of friends over the years and this one is with four mates. A good mate dropped out before Love You Lucy raced and that’s when I put the six kids (supported by 13 grandchildren) into the ownership.

“The children are scattered all over the place in WA, and it appears they were only just getting warmed up on Saturday night when I went to bed.

“It’s just a great group of people. There’s no hard feelings from the mate who decided to pass on a share and he was the first one on the phone to congratulate us. We went out on Sunday morning and I told him we could now afford to shout breakfast,” Goggins adds with a laugh.

“As for Love You Lucy’s trainer, we’ve had a few horses with Barry over the years and I told him it was about time we gave him a decent one!”

The ‘Barry’ to whom Goggins refers is 79-year-old, jockey-turned-Toowoomba conditioner, Barry Squair, who has become something of a media sensation in his own right. Squair had been riding trackwork up until a few weeks ago, but had landed heavily fter getting turfed one morning from Love You Lucy.

“Lucy dumped me and I hurt my shoulder and wrist,” Squair reveals. “That was it for me as a trackwork rider as my wife put her foot down.”
Goggins points out that Love You Lucy can now get a bit stirred up but was quiet as a lamb in the early days.

“We’re based on small property in South East Queensland and only breed one or two every second year or so,” Goggins explains. “We bred two fillies that year, and the other filly was the absolute boss. Ironically, I think she finished seventh in a Goondiwindi Maiden at her last start and Love You Lucy has won a Group Two!”

With a deserved spell being mooted, Love You Lucy would head to the paddock with eight wins and six placings from her 19 starts for $366,325 in prizemoney. Aside from her residual value as a broodmare, it’s unlikely Goggins and Co. would be sending the 4YO to the breeding shed any time soon.

“Everything about this mare has just been remarkable,” Goggins claims.

“It’s great for Barry, whom the commentators deservedly went wild about on Saturday, it’s great for our co-owners, all our friends and it’s especially great for the family. My youngest son, Michael, has said to me that Love You Lucy is the ‘people’s horse’ and I’d have to agree.

“I’m a retired land valuer, a frustrated farmer, and fourth generation Queenslander … my grandfather was a coal miner. We’re not high flyers by any stretch of the imagination and really family orientated.

“In fact, that’s how Love You Lucy got her name … whenever I finished a phone conversation with the younger kids or grandkids, I’d say ‘Love ya’, but given my wife, Maryann, is a former school principal, it had to be Love ‘You’ Lucy!

“We had no idea Love You Lucy would rise to these heights. She finished sixth in a Class 6 in April and two starts later won the (Listed) Silk Stocking at the Gold Coast.

“After finishing midfield in the (Listed) Helen Coughlan last month, some considered we should try her in something easier on Saturday, but then it was decided to have a throw at the stumps in the Group Two.

“You get into racing expecting to have a good time and not to make money, but all of a sudden I’m writing out cheques!”

It gets better. Love You Lucy is from the multiple winning Giant’s Causeway mare, Whitechapel, in turn the daughter of Group Two Sunline Stakes winner, Spurn, and granddaughter of multiple Group winning 2YO, Espiare. Spurn’s half sister, Danari, finished second in the Group One Blue Diamond Stakes.

After Whitechapel was sold for $5,000 at the 2011 Inglis Great Southern Sale in Melbourne, Goggins managed to snap up the mare – in foal to Drumbeats – for just $3,000 at the 2013 Gold Coast Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale.

“The crazy thing is my wife and I were only really at the sale for a look but had registered to buy just in case,” Goggins recalls. “I couldn’t believe there was no-one bidding on Whitechapel, so I double checked to make sure she had four legs and put my hand up.

“The first foal – C’Mome Paddyreilly – only won the one race but was placed on 12 occasions. The big, green shamrock on our silks is probably a dead giveaway about our Irish forebears, and C’Mome Paddyreilly is named after an old Irish song.

“I was explaining it to (commentator) Bernadette Cooper at the races one day and jokingly told her if C’Mome Paddyreilly won, I’d sing the song for her. My brother, Jack, in Tasmania, was watching the telly and rang to say he would be pulling on the horse’s tail, otherwise people would be switching off in droves if they had to listen to me sing. Fortunately for me, he didn’t win.”

Whitechapel has an unraced Holy Roman Emperor 2YO, Bonnie Boru who is currently spelling due to tendon issues, while Goggins and Co are yet to make a decision on where the mare will head to this spring after slipping – just three weeks short of foaling – last year.

Love You Lucy’s victory, meanwhile, could hardly have been more timely for Queensland nursery, Clear Mountain Fairview, which recently secured Love You Lucy’s sire, Love Conquers All, for stud duties in 2020.

A Champion Australian First Season Sire by winners and Leading Queensland first, second and third season sire, Love Conquers All was a 5-time stakes winner in Sydney and Melbourne before heading to the then Queensland division of Sun Stud in 2012.

Love Conquers All – who is also the sire of 5-time stakes winner, Savanna Amour and Brisbane’s multiple Group winner, I’m A Rippa – would spend two springs in Victoria before returning to sunnier climes earlier this year.

“We’re thrilled at the opportunity to stand Love Conquers All this season,” Clear Mountain Fairview’s Mick Frappell enthused. “Breeders love him up here – yes, the pun is intended – he’s great value and has had the most wins of any Queensland stallion this season.

“When you look at stallions like Smart Missile and Manhattan Rain, it’s remarkable what a change of scenery appears to do to their ‘form’.”