Dual Perth Cup-winning trainer Lou Luciani and son Dion have split their racing partnership and will continue in the industry under separate operations.
Luciani, who claimed the 2004 Perth Cup with King Canute and the 2009 version with Guyno, was adamant yesterday that the split was amicable and described it as a succession plan which had reached the perfect point for his former jockey son to launch a training career in his own right.
He said he would still train horses on his property in Capel, while Dion would take control of a comparatively young team of horses at their long-standing Ascot base.
"You've got to cut the cord sometime," Lou said.
"It was probably always going to be this season or next season and I guess Dion is keen to get going with the team of young horses after doing a lot of the buying in the last couple of years.
"While I've been slowing up a bit and establishing my property down south, it gave Dion the chance to not have me sitting over his shoulders every minute of the day.
"Any father-and-son team is hard, but we've got on well. He's established a lot of new clients and this is just where it's headed.
"It's good timing and it's a good, amicable decision between both of us and as long as he keeps his bat and pad close together and works hard in a tough caper where there are plenty of kicks in the guts, he's going to make a big go of it. This will give him the chance to make more and more decisions of his own."
Dion was a former WA leading apprentice after riding in his first race as a 15-year-old in 2003.
He punched home more than 250 winners before weight problems drove him out of the saddle and did his training apprenticeship by working in stables both interstate and abroad in Europe and as stable foreman for his father.
Lou claimed the decision would allow him to concentrate on a smaller group of gallopers in Capel.
He said he would take with him capable trio Ye Olde, Young Lionel and Hue And Cry to help bolster his new operation at the multi-purpose property which also handles agistment and pre-training.
The 58-year-old, who started as an apprentice in 1972, said he was still riding horses in work and had not lost the passion for finding his next big winner.
"I've been up at Ascot in that high-pressure mould for 43 years and training there since 1980, so I needed to freshen up a bit," he said. "I'm not bouncing as well as I used to and it gets harder when you get up in the morning, but I'm one of those silly blokes who loves working."
"This will give him the chance to make more and more decisions of his own." " *Lou Luciani * talking about his son, Dion