Mullumbimby trainer Frank Dichiera was celebrating yesterday after the victory of Aussie Gal at Ballina.
Dichiera is renowned within the industry as the trainer of cult horse Ruby Queen and her two progeny Midnight Ruby and King Ruby.
All three horses are noteworthy for their collective inability to win – in fact, despite 124 starts between them, none of them managed to run a place.
Other notable horses to have been trained by Dichiera include mother and son Queen Sapphire and King Sapphire.
While Queen Sapphire was reasonably successful, her son King Sapphire managed one third in a 70 start career.
The win of Aussie Gal in the first race at Ballina broke a long drought for Dichiera, who had not trained a winner since Buffery Lane saluted (ironically) at Ballina on March 19, 1999.
That was Buffery Lane’s only win in a 67 start career.
Since then, he has had 242 starters for only three placings – Buffery Lane ran two placings (3rd in June 1999 and 2nd in May 2000), while King Sapphire’s solitary third came in July 2005.
Ruby Queen, who began her career in a Ballina maiden in October 1988, had 59 starts in a five year career.
Not once did she win any prizemoney, and she retired with not a dollar to her name.
At stud, she produced two foals.
King Ruby, born in 1996, had a race record almost as impressive as his mother’s.
He started 54 times, and also failed to win any prizemoney in an eight year career.
His last start was at Murwillimbah on August 11, 2008.
He finished 12th of 12, beaten 39.5 lengths.
Born in 1998, Midnight Ruby was the second foal of Ruby Queen.
While not as illustrious as her two relatives, she still had eleven starts for no prizemoney.
The closest she came to winning was a 17 length last in a Lismore maiden in 2007.
As a mare, it is quite possible that Dichiera may keep her as a broodmare, thus continuing one of the more famous families in Australian racing.
Aussie Gal, a Reset filly formerly trained by Kylie Gavenlock at Wyong, looks set to give Dichiera more success after her solid first up victory.
However, by simply winning, she has already surpassed the deeds of her infamous stablemates of the past.
Here’s hoping it isn’t eleven years before Frank Dichiera tastes another victory.
Written by Andrew Hawkins