A standout performer over the 2014 Autumn Racing Carnival, trainer Kris Lees has confirmed he is pleased with the form of Lucia Valentina leading into her racing return in this weekend’s Group 3 Toy Show Quality (1300m) at Royal Randwick.
Securing a commendable total of three wins and as many minor places from just nine competitive starts so far, Lucia Valentina finished third in the Group 2 Surround Stakes (1400m) first-up on March 8th, and while appearing to be out of her depth when twelfth in the Group 1 Coolmore Classic (1500m) on March 22nd, responded in the best way possible when charging home to win the Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) on April 5th.
Experiencing a noticeable amount of rain leading into Saturday’s card, Lees told TVN he will have no issue in saddling Lucia Valentina at Randwick providing the racing surface des not deteriorate further.
“She’s won on heavy ground, but you don’t really want them on heavy ground,” Lees said.
“She has a fair bit of improvement. She’s capable fresh, but I’ll see how the track is on the day.”
Yet to settle on a path for the Savabeel mare through spring, Lees confirmed several Group 1 feature events are on the radar in the lead up to the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 18th.
“If I feel she can be competitive in a George Main, I may come down after that and run in the Turnbull and then to the Caulfield Cup,” Lees added.
“We’ll know deeper into the preparation if she’s going to be up to the top ones.”
Beginning her racing career under the guidance of trainer Stephen Marsh in her native New Zealand, Lucia Valentina secured a near-two length victory in a minor over 1200m on debut during the 2013 spring and continued to build towards and impressive win in the Group 3 Wellington Stakes (1600m) and second in the Group 2 Royal Stakes (2000m) on January 1st.
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