Rippa a tribute to Trivett's Banchory days

6 min read
I'm a Rippa (Love Conquers All) may be one of the outsiders in Saturday's TAB Doomben 10,000, but he is a horse close to breeder and part-owner Marylee Trivett's heart.

The nature of Marylee Trivett's thoroughbred interests has changed significantly in the three years since she leased out 200 acres of Banchory Stud at Cambooya, which she and her husband Richard operated, to a growing Eureka Stud next door.

She still has ten broodmares - well that's as many as she'll own up to - as well as a myriad of other commercial interests with relationships with the likes of Kelly Bond at Kenmore Lodge as well as involvement with the Boutique Bloodstock group which purchased three mares at last week's Chairman's Sale.

Trivett is as much a trader as an owner these days and through Kenmore, will sell a couple of mares at the upcoming Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale, including the Galileo (Ire) mare Around the Clock, who she purchased for $75,000 three years ago shortly before her first foal Hall Of Fame (NZ) (Savabeel) won the G1 Levin Classic in New Zealand.

But while she is utilising her experience to execute a very different strategy these days, on Saturday she will be cheering home a horse that very much represents the old Banchory days in the 5-year-old I'm A Rippa (Love Conquers All) in the G1 TAB Doomben 10,000.

Her connection with the Tony Gollan-trained sprinter goes back three generations, to when Banchory purchased the Grand Lodge (USA) mare Rippa Royale at the 2006 Sydney Broodmare Sale for $60,000 and sent her to their resident sire Seidnazar (Rory's Jester).

"I raced the grand sire of I'm a Rippa, Seidnazar. We bought him and it goes back to one of the original horses my husband Richard and I owned, called Initiation (NZ), by Ironclad (NZ), who was a sister to a mare called Dangerous Seam (Straight Strike {USA}), who was the dam of Seidnazar," she told TDN AusNZ.

"I've always loved families of horses I've owned and sometimes I buy with my heart over my head."

Watch: Seidnazar, grandsire of I'm A Rippa raced by Marylee Trivett

Seidnazar went the closest of any horse to giving the Trivetts a Group 1 winner when he was second in the 2005 Blue Diamond S. He retired a stakes winner and stood at Riverdene Stud before transferring to Banchory.

"I've always loved families of horses I've owned and sometimes I buy with my heart over my head." - Marylee Trivett

"He never covered any good mares, the poor bugger. If he had the opportunities, he would have been a better stallion," Trivett said.

Rippa run starts

One of the best horses from his first crop was a flying filly called Derippa, out of Rippa Royale, who was precocious enough to win a Wellington Boot, one of two wins from her 20 starts.

When it came time to send her to stud, Trivett made what she says was a fairly straightforward and unscientific decision.

"I had a share in Love Conquers All and I had a service, there wasn't a lot of science there, I had a spare service and I thought, well I haven’t got a stallion for Derippa, she can go to him," she said.

At the 2015 Magic Millions Gold Coast March Sale, as she mulled a change of direction for Banchory, she sent the resultant colt through the sales ring, getting $55,000 thanks to trainer Tony Gollan.

I'm A Rippa as a yearling

Marylee assumed that was the end of her involvement with the colt and she looked forward to following with interest from afar. She assumed wrong.

"I wasn't involved initially. Tony couldn't syndicate him, so I rang a few of my friends and a girl called Chris Mayne came in as well. We got 20 per cent each. That was not long before he had his first start," she said.

After a couple of unremarkable performances from I'm A Rippa as a 2-year-old and with the lease of Banchory to Eureka underway, she decided to sell his dam Derippa through the broodmare sales on the Gold Coast.

"Tony had initially said that he wasn't going that well, and Eureka had taken the lease on our farm Banchory. I had to downsize my mare numbers and she was in foal to what was a full sister to I'm A Rippa, so I put her through the mares' sale," she said.

She ended up at Eureka, on the same pastures she'd been bred on, after being sold for $20,000.

Rocky road to glory

As a racehorse, I'm A Rippa looked to be at a bit of a crossroads after failing to win at his first six starts. But a trip north proved a defining moment of his career.

"It wasn't until he won a race in Rockhampton by ten lengths that he switched on. He could have won that by 20. That turned his whole mindset around," she said.

Since that day, he has had 25 starts for eight wins and 11 placings, including a win in the $1m QTIS race on Magic Millions Day last year and a trio of stakes wins in the G3 BRC Sprint, the Listed Eyeliner S and the G3 George Moore S. He has won nearly $1.2m.

He was set for another big payday on the Gold Coast this year before things went awry.

"He was headed for one of this year's Magic Millions races and he got a bit of hay in his eye and he got an infected eye and he had to have two lots of surgery," she said.

Given a spell, he returned in the G2 TAB Victory S. two weeks ago, where he led up before fading.

"It wasn't a bad run when you take that all into consideration, he was first up in a Group 2," Trivett said.

In the deep end

She admits Saturday's contest puts I'm a Rippa very much in the deep end. Against the likes of G1 winner Nature Strip (Nicconi) and multiple G1 placegetter Osborne Bulls (Street Cry {Ire}), he is $101 in most markets.

"He’ll do his best. He is honest as the day he was born. He was always a good looking and eye-catching foal with his white blaze," she said. "He's been a bit of a joy and luckily I did end up in him."

"He won’t go down without a yell. It gives me a lot of pleasure and satisfaction to know that I've created this bloke. We'll keep our fingers crossed. You never know, he might acquit himself better than expected."

I'm A Rippa