Lucia Valentina Turnbull Stakes Favourite Despite Injury Concern

By: Thomas Hackett
October 2nd, 2014

Lucia Valentina is available at 2014 Turnbull Stakes odds of $5 and is favourite to take out the Group 1 event at Flemington on Saturday despite being found with a hoof problem that caused her to miss trackwork this morning.

Lucia Valentina remains favourite in 2014 Turnbull Stakes betting markets.

Lucia Valentina remains favourite in 2014 Turnbull Stakes betting markets. Photo by: Steve Hart

Lucia Valentina opened at a quote of $8 in Turnbull Stakes betting markets, but she was heavily backed by punters immediately and bookmakers wasted no time slashing her price for the $500,000 event.

Earlier in the week trainer Kris Lees was delighted with the condition of Lucia Valentina, but he informed Racing Victoria stewards this afternoon that the Savabeel mare had burst an abscess on her offside front foot and would be forced to undergo a veterinary examination before running in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) on Saturday.

“I detected a pulse in the foot yesterday and we poulticed it overnight,” Lees told TVN.

“We got a small amount of puss out of the area but I don’t think it’s going to be a problem.

“Because of this I didn’t gallop her this morning, but she’ll be alright by Saturday.”

Puissance De Lune was beaten as favourite in the 2013 edition of the Turnbull Stakes, but punters are confident that he can go one better in this year’s race and the popular grey has been of the best-backed runners to take out the Group 1 event.

The Shamardal entire opened at odds of $8.50, but he has been consistently backed and is now into $6.50 to record his maiden win at the highest level of racing.

Silent Achiever opened as a narrow favourite in Turnbull Stakes betting markets at a quote of $5.50, but she didn’t last on top of the market for long and has drifted out to a quote of $7 in the last 24 hours.

The four-time Group 1 winner started her 2014 Spring Racing Carnival campaign with a credible fourth in the Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on August 30, but was slightly disappointing when fifth in the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) and trainer Roger James admits that this is the key point of her spring preparation.

“It is d-day for her and the preparation really,” James said.

“It could be the turning point on what we do from here.”

Happy Trails won the 2013 edition of the Turnbull Stakes at a quote of $26, but he is into $7.50 to win this year’s race, while David Hayes and Tom Dabernig-trained Stipulate ($8.50) is the only other runner available at single figure odds after he earnt a start in the Group 1 event following the withdrawal of Crackerjack King.

Stipulate recorded his first race win in Australia when he took out the Listed Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock Stakes (1700m) at Caulfield on August 30 and Hayes is confident that the Dansili gelding is capable of recording a maiden Group 1 victory in the Turnbull Stakes.

“He was brilliant first-up and I think that he will be very good under these conditions,” Hayes said.

“He would be one to follow I’d say.”

There has been a sprinkling of support for Green Moon ($31 into $19), Hawkspur ($12 into $10) and Thought Worthy ($151 into $126) in the 2014 Turnbull Stakes betting market with Ladbrokes Australia, while The Offer ($11 out to $13), Lidari ($21 out to $26) and Super Cool ($21 out to $26) have been the big drifters.

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