Jockey Kerrin McEvoy checked in with 2014 Caulfield Cup favourite Lucia Valentina at Caulfield this afternoon and was thrilled with her condition ahead of the Group 1 event this weekend.
McEvoy was booked to ride Lucia Valentina at the start of the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival and the classy mare has helped to make the transition to freelance riding a comfortable one for the leading hoop after she recorded impressive wins in the Group 1 Tramway Stakes (1400m) at Royal Randwick on September 6 and the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on October 4.
Lucia Valentina was hindered by a foot abscess in the lead-up to the Turnbull Stakes and McEvoy told Racing.com this afternoon that he believes the Savabeel mare will be in even better condition heading into the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) this afternoon.
“I rode her here last Saturday morning and we were able to gallop on the course proper,” McEvoy said.
“She gave me a really good feel and she felt like a mare that has come on nicely from her win at Flemington and she had a nice two week break ahead of the Caulfield Cup on Saturday.
“She looks great and she felt great.
“It adds another string to her bow that she is going to get there in better shape than she was at Flemington and it will be scary to think that she can perform better than what she did there.
“She has had a nice smooth week and fingers crossed she can have the same in the last few days heading into the race.”
McEvoy has been one of the form jockeys of the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival to date and he rode a treble on Caulfield Guineas Day on Saturday after steering Earthquake to victory in the Group 3 Thoroughbred Club Stakes (1200m), taking out the Listed Weekend Hussler Stakes (1200m) with Hosting and winning the Group 2 Schillaci Stakes (1000m) with Rubick.
The Caulfield Cup winning jockey said that he is happy with the way he is riding and is delighted to be performing with such confidence ahead of the feature race days of the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival.
“It is the same as any sportsman,” McEvoy said.
“You need to be winning and it definitely helps the confident going into these races.”
Lucia Valentina is available at 2014 Caulfield Cup odds of $4.80 to give McEvoy his first win in the race since he took out the 2008 edition with Godolphin stayer All The Good.