A standout performer through the 2014 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival, trainer Kris Lees has revealed talented stayer Lucia Valentina will contest a busy spring campaign, likely to begin in the Group 2 Warwick Stakes (1400m) at Royal Randwick on August 23rd.
A notable performer under trainer Stephen Marsh in her native New Zealand prior to being transferred to the care of Lees at the beginning of the year, Lucia Valentina finished a particularly disappointing 12th in the Group 1 Coolmore Classic (1500m) on March 22nd, but responded in the best way possible when breaking through for a maiden victory at the highest level of Australian racing in the Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) on April 5th.
Yet to confirm major targets for the Savabeel filly through the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival, Lees said the 2014 Warwick Stakes, or Group 3 Toy Show Quality (1300m) on the same Randwick race card will be the first point of call.
“Those races look an ideal kick off and I think I’ll take a similar path as Chris Waller did with Royal Descent last year through the Turnbull Stakes,” Lees told TVN.
“That will tell us whether she’s up to that grade. She’ll be nominated for all of the features and we’ll just see how she comes up.”
Claiming a total of three race wins and three minor places from just nine competitive starts so far, Lucia Valentina won the Tauranga Christmas Races (1200m) on debut in October last year, winning her first rated level race when beating Glorious Lad to the line in the Group 3 Wellington Stakes (1600m) just one month later.
Finishing third in the Group 2 Surround Stakes (1400m) in her first appearance in Australia, the rising three-year-old overcame poor running position and an early check to finish third in the Group 1 Australian Oaks (2400m) on April 19th before returning to the spelling paddock.
Confirmed for a barrier trial in Newcastle on Monday, Lucia Valentina is currently available at generous odds of $15 to win the featured Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 18th; sharing the second line of betting at leading online bookie Ladbrokes.com.au.
Ladbrokes.com.au is currently offering the best early odds on all major races through the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival!