By Glenn Davis
Veteran Toowoomba trainer Barry Squair is hopeful his Group winning mare Love You Lucy can break her track hoodoo in the Open Handicap at Doomben on Saturday ahead of a possible Magic Millions campaign.
Love You Lucy gave Squair the biggest win of his training career when she claimed the Group 2 Dane Ripper Stakes at Eagle Farm in June but is yet to win in five attempts at Doomben.
The five-year-old was subsequently spelled after finishing fourth in the Listed Bright Shadow Stakes at Eagle Farm in July before attempting a first-up victory in the Listed Weetwood Handicap on her home track a Toowoomba last month.
However, Love You Lucy’s attempt to win the Weetwood suffered a major setback before the feature.
“After the Bright Shadow she cut her leg while spelling in the paddock and had to go on antibiotics,” Squair said.
“It put her about three weeks behind schedule for the Weetwood and she went into the race only about 65% fit.
“She ran ninth in the Weetwood and was only beaten just over three lengths.
“At one stage she had her head turned on the side and for a moment, I thought she was going to fall.
“Her last run was better than it looks as she never had a decent crack at them.”
Squair believes Love You Lucy is spot on for the 1350-metre trip and predicts a big improvement despite not having won at Doomben.
“She’s looking for more ground now but her biggest problem this week is the track and the weather," he said.
“She’s had a few goes and never won at Doomben and I don’t want any rain.”
Squair has booked Jim Byrne who will ride Love You Lucy for the first time, replacing Ben Thompson.
The trainer believes Love You Lucy will run a strong 1600 metres and hasn’t ruled out the Magic Millions at the Gold Coast in January.
“Mark Du Plessis was originally booked to ride her but he was required for Fiery Heights,” Squair said.
“I expect she’ll will get a lot better and if we can find a suitable wild card race for her she might have a go at the Magic Millions.”