However trainer Kris Lees is giving punters a bit of advice, stating that the mare is set to hit her peak in Saturday’s race at Rosehill. In fact, he has apparently timed Lucia Valentina’s autumn campaign to get her to her best for the Ranvet Stakes followed by the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) on April 11.
“It was always our intention to have her peaking for her third and fourth run, being the Ranvet and the Queen Elizabeth Stakes,” Lees told Sky Racing.
She’s been strong in a couple of gallops since her last start so I think she’s on track.”
Lucia Valentina failed to even place in her two campaign starts last month, however the mare is notoriously known for bringing it third-up. She has won all three of her third runs in a preparation, including the Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) in April last year and the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) in October, which was followed by a minor placing in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m).
The four-year-old resumed in the Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) on February 14, doing well to make up 10 lengths from the 500 metre, flashing home to make up great ground in the worst part of the track, and running just two lengths behind winner Contributer in fourth place.
She then ran in the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) two weeks later, running three and a half lengths off winner Contributer in ninth place. Lees was never expecting much from the race, considering her poor second-up record (4:0-0-0), but was pleasantly surprised.
Another factor of the 2015 Ranvet Stakes due to work in Lucia Valentina’s favour is the small seven-horse field.
“Form suggests second-up is her worst run and she was OK (in the Chipping Norton) without a flashing light,” Lees said.
“She’s trained on nicely. I think she’ll race very well.
“She gets back regardless and she’s got a good turn of foot. The less traffic the better for her.”
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