Trainer Kris Lees has made just one appearance in the Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m), back in 2003 with County Tyrone who ran 15th, however the trainer couldn’t pass up another go at the ‘race that stops the nation’ with his in-form mare, considering it could be her one shot.
Lucia Valentina can do no wrong this spring racing campaign. The four-year-old mare won the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) on October 4 before finishing third in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) last time out.
The four-year-old mare will now end her season with a tilt in the 2014 Melbourne Cup, for which she’s co-second favourite in the betting market at Ladbrokes.com.au, available for $7.50 along with Signoff.
She has been flying this preparation and hit the line just as hard as Admire Rakti last time out in the Caulfield Cup. Lucia Valentina was a long way back starting the race and had to come right to the outside after getting slightly held up at the 800m. She made a long, sustained run and finished fastest to not miss by much – less than one length off the winner.
This followed a great run in the Turnbull in which hoop Kerrin McEvoy made up ground fast after sitting back of midfield. She took the split and charged away, winning half a length ahead of Brambles.
Lucia Valentina has drawn well in barrier two with McEvoy in the saddle for the fourth successive time. Inside barrier draws can be hazardous in the Melbourne Cup considering the large field size but the mare thrives on them and typically runs better from barrier 1-6.
So can Lucia Valentina end her 2014 spring campaign with a win in the $6.2 million Melbourne Cup and deliver Lees his first win on just his second appearance?
Melbourne Cup Horse Form: #22 Lucia Valentina
- Barrier: 2
- Weight: 53kg
- Jockey: Kerrin McEvoy
- Trainer: Kris Lees
- Owners: Mr L Petagna
- Age: 4YO
- Gender: Mare
- Breeding: by Savabeel from Staryn Glenn (NZ)
- Career: 13:5-1-3
- Win: 38%
- Place: 69%
- Last 6: 3×1613
- Prize Money: $1,054,095
- Track: 1:1-0-0
- Distance: 0:0-0-0
- Current 2014 Melbourne Cup Odds: $7.50
Why Lucia Valentina Can Win The 2014 Melbourne Cup
- Has been absolutely flying this campaign, managing to hit the line just as hard as Melbourne Cup favourite Admire Rakti last time out
- Will get a perfect run from barrier two, given the mare performs better from inside gates
- Can easily be somewhere in the finish if McEvoy can hold her up for as long as possible
- Hoop Kerrin McEvoy has plenty of race experience having run 11 times in the past, winning with Brew in 2000 as well as finishing in second and third place once
- Last start was the Caulfield Cup, which is a strong lead-up race for the Cup – Delta Blues (2006) was the last winner to come via Caulfield after finishing third
Why Lucia Valentina Won’t Win The 2014 Melbourne Cup
- A mare hasn’t won the Melbourne Cup since 2005 with Makybe Diva
- Has already been beaten by Cup favourite Admire Rakti
- May get caught up inside if she doesn’t jump well
- Has yet to be tested at two miles and has only travelled to Flemington once before
If you think Lucia Valentina has got what it takes to win the 2014 Melbourne Cup for the girls, back her at Ladbrokes.com.au today for the best odds.
You could win $10 million this Melbourne Cup Day for just $1. Simply pick the first seven horses across the line and if you get them all right you’ll win the Ladbrokes MegaFecta and walk away $10 million richer.