By Lou Luciani’s own words he was an average jockey and was not as talented as his son Dion in the saddle, but he rose from humble beginnings to become one of the State’s best trainers.
Luciani became an apprentice jockey in 1972, before taking out a trainer’s licence in 1980.
Luciani’s big break came when he became the private trainer in the late 1980s to Perth’s developer of the Burswood resort and casino, which opened its doors in 1985, Dallas Dempster.
Dempster was named in The West Australian as one of WA’s top 100 most influential leaders.
He built a state-of-the-art training complex with boxes, yards and paddocks opposite to Ascot racecourse in Mathieson Road.
Dempster bought 1986 Sydney Cup winner Marooned to WA and stood the son of Mill Reef at Tilden Park Stud at Harvey.
Marooned produced Luciani’s two individual the Group 1 winners Island Morn, who won the 1994 Railway Stakes and Beat Diabetes 2 Stakes (Kingston Town) and Hardrada, who won the 2003 Railway Stakes.
Marooned’s stock won 19 stakes races, from limited services because he only had one testicle, and he went on to become a leading broodmare sire.
Lucani’s 2004 Perth Cup winner King Canute (King Of Kings) and his full-brother Redwoldt, who won the 2004 Karrakatta Plate, were from the Marooned mare Marooned Lady.
Luciani prepared Marooned Lady, who also produced the champion filly Special Harmony (Spinning World) and Little Surfer Girl (Encosta De Lago).
Marooned Lady was the grand-dam of Gambei, who produced Reprisal, who Luciani won his first Broome Cup with in 2013 and the smart filly Hifalutin.
Another of Marooned’s stock Prime Again won the 1993 Group 3 Champion Fillies Stakes and gave Luciani his first interstate success in the Group 3 Auraria Stakes and ran second in the Group 1 SA Oaks and ran third in the Group 2 WA Oaks.
Prime Again, who won the 1994 Coolgardie and Northam cups and Strickland Stakes, produced Luciani’s 2015 Northam Cup and 2016 Bunbury Stakes winner Young Lionel.
A Luciani-trained son of Marooned Marooned By Flood won the 1992 Listed WA St Leger and ran second in the WA Derby.
One of Dempster and Luciani’s best gallopers was Hard Act, who was nailed by the Tommy Smith-trained Key Dancer in the 1989 Group 1 Australian Derby after winning the Melvista Stakes.
Hard Act (Serheed) chased home the champion racehorse Better Loosen Up in the Group 1 Winfield Stakes (Kingston Town) in the same season.
Hard Act was to dead-heat with Feverish in the Group 3 Bunbury Cup at his final start in 1992.
Serheed filly Timeless Action gave Luciani and Dempster the minor leg of the trifecta, finishing third, after wins in a welter and the Group 3 Strickland Stakes in the Winfield.
Timeless Action was a top two-year-old, winning the Listed NJ Way and Supremacy stakes and running third in the Group 1 Karrakatta Plate, second in the Group 3 Queen’s Plate and second in the Listed Crystal Slipper.
Hardrada won two Group 2 Winterbottom Stakes and a Lee-Steere Stakes and was placed second in the 2002 Railway Stakes, third in the 2003 Fruit “N” Veg (Kingston Town) and won the Group 3 WA Sires and Listed Crystal Slipper and NJ Way Stakes as a two-year-old.
Island Morn won the 1995 Group 2 Memsie Stakes at Caulfield and an open handicap at Cheltenham in Adelaide and the Group 3 Hyperion and AJ Scahill stakes at Ascot.
Mr. Tanzania was to run second in the 2001 Railway Stakes after winning the Listed JC Roberts, Dayana and Aquanita stakes as a three-year-old for the Walsh family.
Luciani was to form many successful and close racing associations with the likes of Kalgoorlie businessman Keith Biggs, Rod Russell, Peter Walsh, of Amelia Park, and Brian Bradley.
Luciani won his first Karrakatta Plate with Born Priceless, who was bred by Yarradale Stud’s proprietor Ron Sayers, in 2001.
He won his second Champion Fillies Stakes with Miss Precisely in 2001 and won four WA Sires with Rapid Trooper (1992), Marooned Lady (1995), Snooping (1997) and Hardrada (2002).
Luciani won the 2008 WA Guineas with the filly Moccasin Bend.
Another good sprinter to graduate out of the Luciani stable was Wolf Pack, who won a Group 3 1998 Lee-Steere Classic and Listed Australia Day Stakes.
Zedamoss gave Luciani successive Lee-Steere Classics in 1999.
Defensive Play was another good Luciani-trained sprinter winning the Group 3 Roma Cup, Listed Grandstand Cup and Hannan’s Handicap. He won a second Hannan’s with Tiszae in 1997.
One of Luciani’s favourites would have to be the son of New Zealand sire O’Reilly, Guyno, who won the 2007 WATC Derby, the 2009 Perth Cup, 2011 Lord Reims Stakes in Adelaide, Mornington Cup in Victoria, was placed second in the 2011 Perth Cup, placed third and second in a Pinjarra and Bunbury cups and ran 12th in the 2008 Melbourne Cup. He also ran third in the 2010 Kalgoorlie Cup and third in the 2007 Group 2 CB Cox Stakes and second in the Group 1 Kingston Town Classic.
Guyno earned $1,310,650 from his eight wins and 17 placings at 56 starts.
Luciani won his first trainers’ premiership in 1988-89 and another seven after that to break Len Pike’s all time premiership record. He won his last title in 1997-98.
Luciani went into a training partnership with Dion in 2011, but the pair went their separate ways in 2014.
Luciani now trains at a property he purchased at Capel.