Trainer Kris Lees has revealed that the rain in Sydney over the past 24 hours has given him the confidence to back Lucia Valentina up in the 2015 The BMW at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.
Lucia Valentina hit the line fairly to finish third behind Contributer and Tosen Stardom in the Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 21 and Lees was satisfied with the performance, but is unsure whether the Savabeel mare can turn-the-tables on the talented duo in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Royal Randwick on April 11.
Lees told Racing Ahead that backing Lucia Valentina up in The BMW was always an option during her 2015 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival campaign and he said that he is more than happy to step his star mare up to 2400 metres on a softer Rosehill Gardens track this weekend.
“He is looking a little dominant at the moment Contributer and it was always in our minds to back-up if this happened,” Lees said.
“She is effective at the trip and her two mile and a half runs were probably her two career best runs.
“She gives every indication that she will back-up and she has backed up before in New Zealand and raced well.
“She will be in the second half of the field, but the biggest plus for her is that we have had a bit of rain and there is a bit of jar out of the track.
“Had they not come I probably would not have ran her, but at this stage she is likely to line up.
“She would need to pull-up really well off the back-up and we will just see how she comes through the run.”
Lucia Valentina remains in the entries for the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Royal Randwick on April 4 as well as the Group 1 Queen of The Turf Stakes (1600m) and Queen Elizabeth Stakes the following weekend, but Lees said that the four-year-old would have to come through The BMW extremely well to run in any of the three races during The Championships.
Japanese galloper To The World ($2.60) is currently on top of the 2015 The BMW betting market with Ladbrokes and is a clear favourite from Hartnell ($3.60), while Lucia Valentina is available at 2015 The BMW odds of $9 .
Lees is chasing his first win in The BMW after previously missing the placings with Hathras (7th behind Fiveandahalfstar in 2013) and Country Tyrone (seventh behind Tuesday Joy in 2008 and fifth behind Blutigeroo in 2007).