Lucia Valentina Travels Well Ahead of 2015 Hong Kong Cup

December 1, 2015

DEPOSIT $100 to get

$250

*In Bonus-bets

View Offers

deposit $50 bet with

$200

*In Bonus-bets

View Offers

deposit $25 to get

$75

*In Bonus-bets

View Offers

deposit $250 to get

$250

*In Bonus-bets

View Offers

Lucia Valentina Travels Well Ahead of 2015 Hong Kong Cup

Dual Group 1 winning mare Lucia Valentina made the trip from Melbourne to Sha Tin ahead of Sunday week’s Hong Kong Cup 2015 in fine order according to her Newcastle-based trainer Kris Lees.

Lucia Valentina

Lucia Valentina runs in the 2015 Hong Kong Cup at Sha Tin Racecourse this summer over her pet distance of 2000m. Photo: Ultimate Racing Photos.

Lees was pleased with the way the five-year-old daughter of Savabeel, a winner of over $1.5 million in prize money over her 24 start career to date, came through the flight on Monday with Lucia Valentina handling the trip without issue.

“She travelled in good order, she drank plenty of water on the plane and she got there looking quite well,” Lees told Racing Ahead on RSN.

“She’s pretty seasoned – it would be a similar timeframe from probably my base to Caulfield as what she spent on the plane so she’s handled it pretty well and she’s had trips over from New Zealand as well.”

Last seen posting the sixth win of her career at Flemington on Emirates Stakes Day in the Group 2 Matriarch Stakes (2000m), she goes over the same distance again for her international debut in the lucrative Group 1 Hong Kong Cup (2000m) on December 13.

The distance is her preferred according to Lees, the mare having had six 2000m runs for three wins including both of her elite level successes in the 2014 Vinery Stud Stakes in Sydney and the Turnbull Stakes in Melbourne.

“Looking at the race on paper, it looks a really tough race but it’s at her pet distance and she’s raced herself into some type of form,” he said.

While she travelled well, thrives over 2000m and comes off a Melbourne Cup Carnival win there is still a big challenge for Lucia Valentina in the Hong Kong Cup.

She faces a red hot field and Lees is well aware of the class of competitors she is up against at Sha Tin Racecourse in the Hong Kong International Race Day feature.

“I’m under no illusions – she’s taking on some of the better horses in the world,” Lees said.

“I think she’ll be competitive but it’s a very tough race.”

That said, Lees believes he has his runner as fit as she can be ahead of the international test.

“She had a good searching gallop on Saturday morning before she left,” he said.

“She’s a mare that doesn’t take a great deal of work, so we’ll let her settle in for this week and she may have a look around the course proper early next week.”

Currently Lucia Valentina pays $15 through Ladbrokes.com.au in the early Hong Kong Cup odds that are led by Dermot Weld’s Irish galloper Free Eagle ($4.60) and the locally-trained defending champion Designs On Rome ($4.80).

The other Australian-trained galloper in the line-up is David Hayes & Tom Dabernig’s third placegetter in the race 12 months ago Criterion who occupies the third line of Hong Kong Cup betting at $5.50.

From two runs over the 2000m at Sha Tin the $7.19 million earning Sebring stallion has twice run third, most recently behind Blazing Speed in the Group 1 QEII Cup (2000m) on April 26.

This campaign back home he won the Group 1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m) first-up before a second in the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) and a brave third beaten only 1.25 lengths by Prince Of Penzance ($101) in the ‘race that stops a nation’ – the $6.2 million Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) over the two miles at Flemington on November 3.

Lucia Valentina and Criterion travelled over on the same flight from Melbourne as French raider, the OTI Racing-owned Gailo Chop who pays $11 for the Hong Kong win after his victory at 8/1 in the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on Victoria Derby Day.

Since its inauguration in 1988 when local champ Flying Dancer won, the Hong Kong Cup has been won by just one Australian-trained horse back in 1994 with Damien Oliver rode the James L. Riley-prepared five-year-old State Taj to victory.

Hong Kong horses have won the past four straight editions with California Memory going back-to-back in 2011-12 followed by Akeed Mofeed (2013) who was ridden by Douglas Whyte, in Australia this Saturday riding Neverland as he seeks back-to-back Group 1 Kingston Town Classic (1800m) wins in Perth, and the aforementioned Designs On Rome last year for Aussie expat John Moore.

Get behind the Aussie contingent at Sha Tin on the 13th online at Ladbrokes.com.au where first time depositing players are also rewarded with up to $500 in bonus bets when they quote the limited-time-only promo code BETBONUS!

Racing fields and data are copyright 2011-2018 © Racing Australia Pty Ltd (RA) (and other parties working with it).
Racing materials, including fields, form and results, is subject to copyright which is owned by RA and other parties working with it. Full copyright notice.

Spring Racing

Dubai-Bound Hey Doc Resumes in...

Waller Gears Up 2018 Australia...

Waller Gears Up 2018 Australian Guineas Contingent

Sydney-based Chris Waller is stepping-up the autumn lead-up work for his...

Memes Vies for 2018 Expressway...

Memes Vies for 2018 Expressway Stakes Shot

A good run fresh in Saturday’s Summer Sprint at Royal Randwick could earn the...

2018 Robert Sangster Stakes Ta...

2018 Robert Sangster Stakes Target for Houtzen

The Robert Sangster Stakes 2018 in Adelaide this May could be calling for Toby...

Mr Sneaky Cheeky Chance for La...

Mr Sneaky Cheeky Chance for Ladbrokes CF Orr Stakes 2018

Group 1 placed Mr Sneaky could target the 2018 Ladbrokes CF Orr Stakes...

Race Results

Viewed Victorious in Caulfield Cup

Race 1 Result – $101 500 AGL Renewable Energy Stakes – She’s Got Gears Wins

Race 2 – $101,500 Schiavello Plate – Avienus Wins

Race 3 – $101 500 Lavazza A Modo Mio – Linton Street Wins

Race 4 Results – $151,500 Listed Herald Sun Stakes – Strawberry Field Wins

Race Previews

2009 Caulfield Cup Barrier Draw Announced

Who Are the Top Contenders for Tomorrow’s Caulfield Cup?

Victoria Derby in sight for Onemorenomore

2009 Melbourne Cup Field

Eclipse Stakes Final Field & Preview

Fields & Form

Can Kelinni Win Sydney Cup 2013 for the Punters?

Moroney Gets into Queensland Derby 2013 Rhythm

Buffering Draws 7 – 2013 BTC Cup Final Field and Barrier Draw

SA Fillies Classic 2013 Field Released

13 two-year-olds in 2013 Champagne Classic Field