Punters shied away from Kris Lees’ Lucia Valentina ahead of the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington Racecourseon Saturday, but the mare proved them all wrong after bringing the race home.
This was the race for horses to put their names forward for the big three upcoming spring carnival races – Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m), Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m), and Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) – and Lucia Valentina will without a doubt become the Caulfield favourite following this win.
Brambles, Entirely Platinum, and Let’s Make Adeal took the early lead, with Lucia Valentina settling amongst the pack.
Entirely Platinum was first on the straight but with 200m to go Lucia Valentina and punters favourite Puissance De Lune made their way down the outside track.
Lees’ mare improved her run at just the right part of the track and at the right time to bring it home half a length ahead of Brambles with Lidari rounding out the top three.
Jockey Kerrin McEvoy was quick to note the beautiful run given to him by the filly, who relaxed so well and was a good stayer.
“She was a very smart three-year-old, and she’s starting to show that at four which is really exciting for Kriss and the team,” McEvoy said after the race.
“We wanted to get her out and be a bit closer today, which we were able to do and it was a nice enough tempo the whole way.
“I had to dart back in and try for a bit of luck but she’s got a great turn of foot and she was able to show that today.”
McEvoy claimed it was great Lucia Valentina could quicken on the good track.
“She hasn’t won on a good track, admittedly today’s track is riding with a little bit of give in it so I was happy when I felt that.
“She’s a filly that everyone has labeled as a wet tracker but I think she just handles it better than some. It’s going to be damp on Caulfield Cup day and she’s going to be very hard to beat.”
Trainer Kris Lees was equally as impressed by her run, noting “she raced very well” despite the heat in her foot earlier in the week.
“There’s not a lot of her and she’s coming up really well and on track [ahead of the Caulfield Cup].
“There’s not much I’m going to have to do to keep her happy, she’s teaching me how to train her, making sure I don’t gallop her too hard.”
Caulfield Cup betting markets are set to reopen at Ladbrokes.com.au shortly, so make sure you get your online account open and ready to back Lucia Valentina at her latest odds.
Make your first deposit with the online bookmaker to receive a free 100% match bet to the value of $500! Just use code: SPRINGBONUS. This offer is only available for a limited time so don’t miss out!
2014 Group 1 Turnbull Stakes Results
|1||16||LUCIA VALENTINA (NZ)||Kris Lees||Kerrin McEvoy||–||5||53.5kg||$8.50|
|2||9||LIDARI (FR)||Peter G Moody||Steven Arnold||0.5L||11||55.5kg||$18|
|3||15||BRAMBLES (NZ)||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||0.6L||3||54.5kg||$10|
|4||8||PUISSANCE DE LUNE (IRE)||Darren Weir||Brad Rawiller||2.85L||2||56.5kg||$5.50EF|
|5||17e||STIPULATE (GB)||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Craig Williams||3.6L||10||54.5kg||$9|
|6||5||THE OFFER (IRE)||Gai Waterhouse||Tommy Berry||4.1L||15||57.5kg||$21|
|7||11||SHOREHAM||Saab Hasan||Chris Symons||4.85L||12||55kg||$81|
|8||12||ENTIRELY PLATINUM (NZ)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Dwayne Dunn||4.95L||8||55kg||$14|
|9||6||SILENT ACHIEVER (NZ)||Roger James||Damien Oliver||5.05L||7||57kg||$11|
|10||4||HAWKSPUR||Chris Waller||Jim Cassidy||5.35L||13||57.5kg||$16|
|11||3||SUPER COOL||Mark Kavanagh||Glen Boss||5.55L||4||57.5kg||$17|
|12||13||GRIS CARO (GB)||Jake Stephens||Ben Melham||5.85L||6||55kg||$21|
|13||18e||LET’S MAKE ADEAL||Nigel Blackiston||James Winks||5.95L||16||52.5kg||$71|
|14||2||HAPPY TRAILS||Paul Beshara||Michael Rodd||6.7L||1||59kg||$5.50EF|
|15||1||GREEN MOON (IRE)||Robert Hickmott||Steven King||11.95L||14||59kg||$26|
|16||10||THOUGHT WORTHY (USA)||Robert Hickmott||Nicholas Hall||46.95L||9||55.5kg||$151|
|–||19e||ALBONETTI||Sue Jaensch||Dean Yendall||–||0||–||–|
|–||7||SERTORIUS||Jamie Edwards & Bruce Elkington||Ryan Maloney||–||0||–||–|
|–||14||CRACKERJACK KING (IRE)||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Michael Walker||–||0||–||–|