Group 1 winning mare Lucia Valentina will need plenty of pace on if she is to break her second-up hoodoo when she lines up in the Group 1 $500,000 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Warwick Farm on Saturday.
Lucia Valentina has a fifty per cent winning first-up record with two wins from four attempts but her second up record reads three duck eggs from three goes.
The Kris Lees trained mare couldn’t reproduce her winning first-up form when a fast finishing fourth behind Contributer, Ninth Legion and Weary in the Group 2 $250,000 Optus Apollo Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on February 14 but Lees thinks this could go to her advantage at Warwick Farm on the weekend.
“That is something we’re aware of, but I think she has been more forward going into a first-up run (in the past) so she possibly was looking for further both times at her second-up runs,” Lees told AAP.
Lucia Valentina is facing similar opposition is the Chipping Norton Stakes as she lined up against in the Apollo Stakes and Lees is hoping that there is some solid speed up front to give her a chance to run home over the top of the pacemakers.
“It’s pace-related for her second-up at a mile,” Lees said.
The first seven placegetters from the Apollo Stakes are set to front up again in the weight for age Chipping Norton Stakes with Contibuter, Ninth Legion, Weary, Lucia Valentina, Silent Achiever (5th), He’s Your Man (6th), and Boban (7th) all in the list of nominations.
Foreteller (9th), Hawkspur (11th), Junoob (12th) and Disclaimer (14th) all went around the Apollo Stakes as well.
Lucia Valentina showed her class during the 2014 Sydney Autumn Carnival with a win in the Group 1 $400,000 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill and collected her second Group 1 trophy in taking out the $500,000 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington during the 2014 Melbourne Spring Carnival.
The John O’Shea trained import Contributer was very impressive in winning the Apollo Stakes first up and has been installed the early favourite for the Chipping Norton Stakes and is marked at $3.30 with Ladbrokes.com.au.
Lucia Valentina is the second pick at $5.50 ahead of He’s Your Man at $6, Weary at $7, Silent Achiever at $8 and O’Shea’s other English import Hartnell at $8.50.