Lucia Valentina is yet to record a win this preparation, but trainer Kris Lees has still been happy with the 2015 Queen Elizabeth Stakes lead-up form.
Lucia Valentina started her 2015 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival with a fast-finishing fourth in the Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) at Royal Randwick on February 14 and she produced her typically flat second-up effort in the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Warwick Farm on February 28 before she finished a credible third in the Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 21.
Lees elected to back Lucia Valentina up in the Group 1 The BMW (2400m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 28 and she finished seventh without looking like a winning chance.
The Newcastle-based trainer believes that the form around Lucia Valentina has been very strong this preparation and he believes that the Savabeel mare is ready to produce a big performance when she gets an opportunity on a wet track in the 2015 Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
“Her form might suggest that she probably hasn’t come up as well as she did in the spring, but I think that it has been a pretty tough autumn and there are some really quality horses around at the moment,” Lees said.
“She finally gets a track where she will be able to get her toe into it a bit, so we are looking forward to that.
“The tracks have just been a little bit firm for her at that level, she has raced well without winning and she can go to a different level when she gets her toe into the ground.
“We will certainly know where we at on Saturday.”
Lucia Valentina will be dropping back to 2000 metres in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes after stepping up to 2400 metres in the BMW, but Lees does not believe that the drop back in distance will be an issue for his star mare – especially on what he hopes is a heavy track,
“It doesn’t worry from the view that it could be quiet a testing run if we do get that type of track.
“She has freshened up nice, I haven’t done too much with her since the run and she is in good order.
“I am thinking that she will be fine.”
Lucia Valentina is currently available at 2015 Queen Elizabeth Stakes odds of $15 with Ladbrokes, while Contributer ($3.50) remains a narrow favourite from To The World ($4), Criterion ($7.50), Tosen Stardom ($8) and Adelaide ($8.50).