Lucia Valentina has been backed into 2015 Tramway Stakes odds of $8.50 after rain hit the Royal Randwick track overnight and trainer Kris Lees believes that the wet weather brings the talented mare into the Group 2 event.
Lucia Valentina showed a blistering turn-of-foot to finish over the top of Tiger Tees to take out the Tramway Stakes last year and Lees told Racing Ahead that the daughter of Savabeel is just as forward for the start of her 2015 Spring Racing Carnival campaign this year.
“I am pretty happy with her,” Lees said.
“I think she is going as well as this time last year.
“24 hours ago I thought she wasn’t going to get similar conditions, but now we have had this rain it probably brings her into the race.
“She is a backmarker so you need favours and things to go right to get that right type of run, but I think the race will set up nicely for her.
“She is hopefully in for a good preparation.
“She is a bit bigger and she is probably carrying a bit more weight, but fitness wise she is at a very similar place and she has had a similar preparation.
“She needs to go to the races and she is very well in herself.”
Lucia Valentina has been included in the nominations for the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m), Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) and Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m), but Lees is yet to map out a 2015 Spring Racing Carnival path for the five-year-old.
Lees said that the Caulfield Cup and Cox Plate are both options for Lucia Valentina if she returns to her best form during the spring, but he revealed that he would be happy to set his sights lower with the mare if she does not recapture the form she showed to take out the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) last year.
“We are still undecided which way we go with it,” Lees said.
“Depending on how she comes up there are a lot of options for her.
“She is nominated for the Caulfield Cup and if she is going well we would think about a Cox Plate.
“If she is not going quite as well this preparation we can always bring her back a peg and there are plenty of options for her.”
First Seal is currently available at 2015 Tramway Stakes odds of $4 and she remains a clear favourite in the Tramway Stakes betting market with Ladbrokes, but there has been plenty of support for new Gai Waterhouse recruit Arabian Gold ($8 into $6) as well as Lucia Valentina ($10 into $8.50).