Lucia Valentina was second favourite to win the 2014 Melbourne Cup, with many punters confident the four-year-old mare had what it took to step up to the two mile distance of the ‘race that stops the nation’ and succeed.
However, the Kris Lees-trained mare couldn’t even crack the top ten, finishing 15½ lengths off winner Protectionist in 13th.
Kerrin McEvoy saddled the mare in the $6.2 million feature race, noting there were several factors that conspired against her.
Lucia Valentina settled well but made little impact in the race. Speaking after the race, McEvoy said both Admire Rakti and Royal Diamond fell back on him before the home turn which did not help.
“We had a nice trip, but Admire Rakti and Royal Diamond came back and had me pinned on the rail looking for room,” McEvoy told TVN.
“By the time I got her out and going they were off.”
There are now doubts Lucia Valentina actually stayed the 3200 metres of the race, with McEvoy adding she felt the firm ground.
“You would like some rain for her and whether she stays the trip is also a question mark,” McEvoy said.
The mare won the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) two races back before taking away a minor placing in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m).
It was recently announced that Lucia Valentina’s trainer Kris Lees would take care of Melbourne Cup winner Protectionist with the German raider staying on in Australia.
McEvoy said the trainer had plenty of options for Lucia Valentina in the autumn.
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