The Warrnambool-based hobbyists, who bred and reared Tears I Cry (Lacryma Cristi {Ire}) alongside daughter Anne McGrath, are looking forward to their grandson Josh Julius attempt to emulate the 2007 G1 Emirates S. winner’s feats, when he saddles up Just Folk in the same race, now named the G1 Kennedy Cantala S. at Flemington on Saturday.

McGrath stole the show on course with her post Emirates S. display of raw emotion, in what was Ciaron Maher’s first Group 1 winner, but the seeds for Tears I Cry and Just Folk’s success were planted nine years prior, when Leo Dwyer acquired moderately performed race mare Cassazione (Salieri {USA}) for $4000 at the 1998 Inglis July Mixed Sale.

Tears I Cry

“I was sitting at the sales and this mare wandered into the ring (Cassazione) and I thought jeez she’s a well-bred mare, she’d won a race from three starts but had two bowed tendons on the front legs,” Leo Dwyer told TDN AusNZ.

“I thought she wasn’t making much and decided to throw a bid in. I was a bit surprised by the price but back in those days it was about all the money I had; I couldn’t have gone another bid.”

Dwyer’s decision to send the mare to then first-season sire Lacryma Cristi (Ire) in 1999 for her second mating would pave way for ‘Tears’ to arrive.

The resultant foal was a filly, who sadly died at 18 months old but the quality she showed convinced Dwyer to return Cassazione to Lacryma Cristi in 2001.

“We’ve had a lot of bad luck and good luck; I lost the first one but then Tears came along. So, you take what’s served up to you and if you don’t get too disillusioned about it you keep on having another a go,” Dwyer said.

“You take what’s served up to you and if you don’t get too disillusioned about it you keep on having another a go.” – Leo Dwyer

Just Folk’s dam Fast Ruby (Desert Sun {GB}), an unraced half-sister to Tears I Cry, is the sixth of eight foals out of Cassazione.

Fast potential

Foaled in 2008, Fast Ruby showed immense ability, however, an unfortunate paddock incident saw her racing potential go unrealised.

“She was showing a fair bit of potential, but I put her in the paddock with another old mare who had a foal on her, and the mare belted the hell out of her and put her through a gate,” Dwyer said.

“It put a bit of a cut on her and we healed that up but when we put her back in, she went lame and Arthur Young, a vet who is a friend of mine, checked her leg and he said, ‘She’s cracked her cannon bone and it could break if you race her’.”

Just Folk

Fast Ruby was first covered by Written Tycoon in 2011 producing the unraced Bixbite, who herself is the dam of Red Emerald (St Jean {Ire}), an untried 3-year-old filly trained by Maureen Dwyer.

She produced a filly named True Dinks (Bushranger) the following year before the city placed Highclass Harry (Magnus) followed in 2015.

Dwyer opted to send Fast Ruby back to Magnus in 2015 and was rewarded with Just Folk.

“When you get a mare that clicks with a horse as she (Fast Ruby) has done there is no harm to go back to them,” Dwyer said.

“When you get a mare that clicks with a horse as she (Fast Ruby) has done there is no harm to go back to them.” – Leo Dwyer

“She’s ready to drop a foal by Magnus and will go back to him again if everything goes right as I don’t believe in upgrading if you’re going alright.”

Born to be good

Just Folk making it as a racehorse and winning at Group level wasn’t a complete surprise, according to Dwyer.

He said the gelding always had something special about him right from the very beginning.

“From the time he was a foal he’d always stand up and look at you to say, ‘I’m better than you’. So, to see him go on and do something and get as far as he has is a jolly good effort because often you don’t see their true potential,” Dwyer said.

“It’s nice just to win a race. To me Group 1s, Group 2s and maidens are all great because when you put a lot of work into them, regardless of their ability, it’s nice to be rewarded and get that appreciation.”

Julius confirmed Just Folk to be in great order on Tuesday, saying that he is more than likely to contest the Kennedy Cantala S.

“It’s nice just to win a race. To me Group 1s, Group 2s and maidens are all great because when you put a lot of work into them, regardless of their ability, it’s nice to be rewarded and get that appreciation.” – Leo Dwyer

And with the progressive gelding carrying the minimum weight, 52kgs, in Saturday’s race, Dwyer isn’t ruling out the possibility of history repeating itself.

“I’ve always been a bit of a knocker of our horses, when Ciaron Maher decided to take Tears I Cry to the Emirates S. I said ‘You’re bloody mad and are wasting a good horse’,” Dwyer said.

“So, don’t take any notice of what my opinion about what the horse goes to is, as you never know what can happen.”

The celebrations if Just Folk is to salute on Saturday may struggle to rival those following Tears I Cry’s boilover breakthrough, however, it will certainly be enjoyed late into the night.

Josh Julius

“Anne very much gives to the moment, even the other day Josh (Julius) trained a winner for her at Echuca and I think she got as much kick out of that as she did when Tears I Cry won the Emirates; she really loves the game,” Dwyer said.

“We celebrate by getting Kentucky Fried Chicken. It is a tradition of ours when we win a race that goes back a long way. Neither Maureen or I drink but we certainly do enjoy celebrating our wins, and to do it with Josh would be great because he loves his job and works hard.”

Article courtesy of TDN