Lucia Valentina has won two Group 1s in her two third-up starts in Australia and trainer Kris Lees is confident that the talented mare is ready to peak third-up again in the 2015 Ranvet Stakes at Rosehill Gardens this weekend.
Lucia Valentina started her 2015 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival campaign with a fast-finishing fourth in the Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) at Royal Randwick on February 14, but she continued her tradition of producing a flat performance second-up when she finished ninth in the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Warwick Farm on February 28.
Lees told Racing Ahead that Lucia Valentina has trained on strongly heading into the Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) and he is confident that the Savabeel mare is ready to peak like she did when she won the Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) and Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) third-up in her past two preparations.
“She is really well,” Lees said.
“Her second-up run was consistent with her other second-up runs with me, she raced a little flat and to the eye looked a touch plain.
“However, she has worked very well since and she had a very good gallop this morning without being put under any pressure on the course proper at Newcastle.
“She heads into the Ranvet Stakes in pretty good condition.
“I am hoping that we will get a similar result to what we have third run in.”
There are a number of options for Lucia Valentina during The Championships and she has been included in the nominations for the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Royal Randwick on April 4 and the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) and Queen Of The Turf Stakes (2000m) at the same venue a weekend later.
The $4 million Queen Elizabeth Stakes has always been the major 2015 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival goal for Lucia Valentina and Lees confirmed that the Group 1 event was still on the agenda for the four-year-old.
“At this stage she will go to the Queen Elizabeth,” Lees said.
“She is nominated for the Doncaster and also the Queen Of The Turf, but at this stage we are pretty committed to going to the Queen Elizabeth.”
Lucia Valentina is currently available at 2015 Ranvet Stakes odds of $5 with Ladbrokes and is on the second line of betting behind Contributer ($2.20).