Lucia Valentina completed her final piece of trackwork before the 2014 Melbourne Cup at Sandown this morning and trainer Kris Lees believes that the talented mare is ready for the $6 million event at Flemington next Tuesday.
Lucia Valentina was given a testing piece of trackwork at Sandown on Tuesday morning and she was given a quieter time of it today at the same venue, but she still managed to impress Lees and the Newcastle-based trainer is confident that the Savabeel mare is at her peak for the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m).
“That is her last piece of work provided that she comes through it all good,” Lees told RSN this morning.
“She appears on track.
“She wasn’t out to run great time this morning, but she probably worked up her last 600 in about 39 and it was all good.
“She is in good order and now it comes down to whether she will run the two mile.”
Lees opted to include Lucia Valentina in the nominations for the Group 1 Myer Classic (1600m) that were released on Monday, but the four-year-old was not included in the Myer Classic final field and Lees revealed that he never really planned to run his star galloper on Victoria Derby Day this weekend heading into the 2014 Melbourne Cup.
“I put a nom in for the Myer purely because of that weather we had on Monday and there was some doubt that we could miss Tuesday’s gallop,” Lees said.
“She is a mare that has handled back-ups before in New Zealand, but I think that she is ready to go now and I don’t really see any need.”
Lucia Valentina will be stepping up to 3200 metres for the first time in her racing career in the Melbourne Cup on Tuesday and Lees admits that the Group 1 winner is no certainty to run out the trip strongly.
The Savabeel mare hit the line strongly when third behind Admire Rakti in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) and Lees revealed that Lucia Valentina gives him the impression that she will be able to stay the trip.
“She has given me extra indication that she will, but until they are proven at the trip you still have that little bit of doubt,” Lees said.
“She was good late (in the Caulfield Cup) and her closing sectionals were the best of the race, so that has her in good stead going forward.”
Lucia Valentina is currently available at 2014 Melbourne Cup odds of $7 to deliver Lees his maiden win in ‘the race that stops a nation’.