Lucia Valentina has steady returned to peak form through her two starts this time in, and trainer Kris Lees is confident the addition of blinkers will pay dividends in the classy mare’s run in Saturday’s 2015 Epsom Handicap (1600m) at Royal Randwick.
A two-time Group 1 winner, Lucia Valentina was unable to make much of a competitive impact through the recent Sydney Autumn Carnival other than a credible run for third in the Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) and returned to the paddock for a much-needed spell following the Queen Elizabeth Stakes on Day 2 of The Championships.
Having sported blinkers during a strong piece of work last week, Lees told The Daily Telegraph he is confident the addition of headwear on Epsom Handicap Day will tune the daughter of Savabeel into winning form.
“She wore the blinkers in a track gallop and went brilliantly,’’ Lees said.
“I’d say we will use them on her in the Epsom because she is staying at 1600m and it just might give her the edge she needs.
“We managed to secure Zac for the ride which is great because he is one of the world’s best jockeys and will suit the mare.
“I think she is going as well as ever, I’ve been really happy with both her runs this spring.”
Debuting in Australia for success in the Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) and third in the Group 1 Australian Oaks (2400m) most notably during the 2014 Autumn Carnival, Lucia Valentina returned the following spring for success in each of the Group 2 Tramway Handicap (1400m) and Group 1 Turnbull Stakes most notably before running a credible third in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m).
Allocated the ideal barrier 4, Zac Purton has been confirmed to take the ride on Lucia Valentina who will has been charged with carrying 57.5kgs in the 2015 Epsom Handicap.
Ladbrokes.com.au is currently offering the best 2015 Epsom Handicap odds, for which Lucia Valentina can be taken at a quote of $9 for success or $3.10 to finish in the first three.