Newcastle horseman Kris Lees has thrown in a precautionary Myer Classic 2014 nomination for his Melbourne Cup-bound mare Lucia Valentina for Flemington’s Victoria Derby Day this Saturday in case the bad weather in Victoria persists.
Track gallops were called off in Melbourne this morning due to lightening and wet weather forcing some horses to miss crucial work ahead of their Group 1 Melbourne Cup Carnival targets.
Lees doesn’t want this to be the case for his recent Turnbull Stakes winner Lucia Valentina as she tracks towards a run in the world’s richest handicap, the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) on Tuesday week at Flemington.
The four-year-old daughter of Savabeel was this morning one of 40 second acceptors for the 2014 Melbourne Cup and she sits on the third line of betting for the ‘race that stops the nation’ paying $7.50 through Ladbrokes.com.au.
She was the beaten favourite on October 18 when a brave third from a wide run in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) behind now $4.80 Melbourne Cup top fancy Admire Rakti.
It would be unlikely though that she would jump favourite, if accepted, for this Saturday’s $500,000 Group 1 Myer Classic (1600m) over the unsuitably short distance.
Instead Lees would use the race simply to keep her ticking over between now and the big one on the first Tuesday of November.
“Lucia Valentina has been nominated for (the) Myer Classic Saturday as a precaution just in case the wild weather in Melbourne continues and she misses work in the lead up to the Cup,” Lees wrote on Twitter.
There were a total of 25 fillies and mares nominated for this year’s Myer Classic including Catkins for last year’s winning trainer Chris Waller.
Waller saddled-up the Myer Classic quinella 12 months ago with the always honest Red Tracer just holding off Caktins, back to go one better in 2014, by a nose.
Last year’s runner-up has been in good form again this season firstly in Sydney and then last time out when third behind Sweet Idea in the Group 2 Tristarc Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield.
Gai Waterhouse’s Tristarc Stakes winner Sweet Idea and the David Hayes & Tom Dabernig-trained runner-up Girl Guide are also both nominated for the Myer on Saturday.
Snitzel four-year-old Sweet Idea has won two of her four spring assignments and relished the step down in class last time out after her Group 1 second to Dissident in the Memsie Stakes and Group 1 fourth to Trust In A Gust in the Sir Rupert Clarke earlier this prep.
Girl Guide is also a Group winner for the season having won the Group 3 How Now Stakes (1200m0 three back before two good seconds all at Caulfield, Saturday her first look at Flemington.
Along with Sweet Idea Waterhouse has also nominated for her Group 1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes winner Diamond Drille out to improve on a Tristarc seventh and Group 2 Blazer Stakes winner at the track two back Forever Loved.
Hayes & Dabernig meanwhile also have Star Fashion in the mix, the Street Cry four-year-old after her third straight this time in following a Group 3 Ladies’ Day Vase (1600m) win on October 15.
Star Fashion is also no stranger to Group 1 racing including her second in the Schweppes Oaks over 2000m at Morphettville during the autumn.
Schweppes Oaks winner May’s Dream is another notable Myer Classic entry this year for Darren Weir and she’s been right up on the mark with a Blazer Stakes third and Tristrac Stakes fourth in the lead-up.
Other notable Myer Classic hopes include the Group 3 Angst Stakes quinella from Randwick on October 11 Neena Rock and Estonian Princess, Nigel Blackinston’s first two over the line in last Saturday’s Group 3 Tesio Stakes Suavito and Precious Gem, as well as Solicit who was runner-up to Lucia Valentina in April’s Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m).
See below for the full Myer Classic 2014 nominations with the final field out on Wednesday.
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2014 Myer Classic Nominations
Flemington Race 9 – 01/11/2014
|3||CHIQUADA (NZ)||Brian Jenkins||78|
|4||DIAMOND DRILLE||Gai Waterhouse||105|
|6||ESTONIAN PRINCESS||Scott Aspery||92|
|7||FOREVER LOVED (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse||96|
|8||GIRL GUIDE||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||95|
|9||GIRL IN FLIGHT||Robbie Griffiths||89|
|10||LUCIA VALENTINA (NZ)||Kris Lees||108|
|11||MAHARA||Peter & Paul Snowden||87|
|12||MAY’S DREAM||Darren Weir||101|
|14||NEENA ROCK||John Sargent||95|
|16||QUAYSIDE||Peter G Moody||94|
|17||SOLICIT||Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra||103|
|18||SPIRIT OF HEAVEN (NZ)||Peter G Moody||83|
|19||STAR FASHION||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||95|
|20||SUAVITO (NZ)||Nigel Blackiston||93|
|21||SWEET IDEA||Gai Waterhouse||111|
|22||TAHNI DANCER||Clinton McDonald||75|
|23||VIADANA (NZ)||Lance Noble||103|
|24||YOU’RE SO GOOD (NZ)||Nigel Blackiston||88|
|25||ZONZA (NZ)||Roger James||98|