Trainer Kris Lees believes that Lucia Valentina is the right horse for the 2014 Melbourne Cup and he is confident that the talented mare is ready to run the race of her life in the Group 1 event at Flemington this afternoon.
Lucia Valentina is yet to produce a poor performance in her four race starts to date during her 2014 Spring Racing Carnival and she stamped herself as one of the leading contenders for the 2014 Melbourne Cup when she flew home late to finish third in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 18.
Lees told RSN this morning that Lucia Valentina had taken improvement from her unlucky performance in the Caulfield Cup and he confirmed that he could not be happier with the Savabeel mare heading into the 2014 Melbourne Cup; with his only concern the fact that the four-year-old will be stepping up to 3200 metres for the first time.
“She has come out of her Caulfield Cup run really well,” Lees said.
“There was just a little bit of improvement still in her and I think we have seen that at home.
“It comes down now to whether she can run out the two miles; we don’t know yet, but the way that she has finished every race gives us heart that she can.
“If you look at her pedigree it might suggest that she is more of a 2000 metres horse, but she is by a son of Zabeel out of a daughter of Montjeu, so we will stick with that.
“Other than that I think that she is ready to run the race of her life.”
Lucia Valentina did not have a great deal of luck in running when she jumped from barrier ten in the Caulfield Cup, but Lees is hopeful that the two-time Group 1 winner will get a better run into the Melbourne Cup this afternoon.
Lees admits that there is a chance that the lightly-built Lucia Valentina could get squeezed up in the early stages of the race, but he is confident jockey Kerrin McEvoy will be able to settle the Caulfield Cup placegetter in the right position.
“If she can break clean and just roll forward with the bunch and hopefully settle in a midfield type of position,” Lees said.
“The barrier could be an advantage for us, but if it gets a bit tight and bustling then it may cause problems.
“She is big enough and she will hold her on.”
Lucia Valentina is currently available at 2014 Melbourne Cup odds of $7 and she is on the second line of betting behind Admire Rakti ($6).