Lees Sweating On Hong Kong Cup Invite For Lucia Valentina

Trainer Kris Lees has confirmed that Lucia Valentina will make the trip to Hong Kong if she is invited to contest the 2015 Hong Kong Cup at Sha Tin on December 13.

Lucia Valentina returned to winning form with an impressive performance in the Matriarch Stakes. Photo by: Ultimate Racing Photos

Lucia Valentina returned to winning form with an impressive performance in the Matriarch Stakes. Photo by: Ultimate Racing Photos

Lucia Valentina was included in the entries for the Group 1 event that were released just under a fortnight ago and she gave the Hong Kong Jockey Club a reminder of her ability with an impressive victory in the Group 2 Matriarch Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on Saturday.

Lees told Racing Ahead that he is keen to take Lucia Valentina to Hong Kong and he revealed that he would like then give the five-year-old a brief spring preparation before he potentially sends her to Brisbane for the Group 1 Doomben Cup (2000m) during the 2016 Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival.

“She has a nomination in for Hong Kong and we are waiting to see if we get selected there and if she is selected she will definitely go,” Lees said.

“I think she will race really well.

“If we went there we would probably keep her until late in the autumn.

“Last year we started off a little earlier and we found those firm tracks, but if she went to Hong Kong and came back then we would start late in the autumn and then possibly go to Brisbane for a race like the Doomben Cup, where I think she would be well suited.”

Lucia Valentina has raced exclusively at the highest level in the last 12 months and she finished in the placings in races like the Caulfield Cup, but before her Matriarch Stakes win had not recorded a victory since her Turnbull Stakes triumph in October of last year.

Lees said that he was absolutely delighted to see Lucia Valentina return to winning form in the Matriarch Stakes and he was quick to pay credit to the ride of star hoop Damien Oliver.

“It was good to see her back in winning form,” Lees said.

“She has raced at a very high level since her last win in the Turnbull Stakes, but it pleasing to see her win again.

“From that gate we were always going to be at the back of the field and he said before the race that he would cut his way through and try to save ground, but he was forced wide and took the option to go right to the outside, which was probably the winning move.”

Australia could have a very big presence at the 2015 Hong Kong International Race Day as Lucia Valentina could be joined by the likes of Criterion, Chautauqua and Terravista.

About The Author

Thomas Hackett

Thomas is a passionate and opinionated racing journalist and punter who has been obsessed with horse racing since he backed Saintly to win the 1996 Melbourne Cup. An international racing enthusiast, he has his finger on the pulse of racing news not just from Australia but all around the world.

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