2016 George Ryder Stakes an Option for Lucia Valentina

January 18th, 2016

Trainer Kris Lees has revealed Lucia Valentina is taking well to her time away from racing ahead of a 2016 Autumn Carnival campaign that is set to include an appearance in the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) in March.

Lucia Valentina will likely make an appearance in the 2016 George Ryder Stakes. Photo: Steve Hart

Lucia Valentina will likely make an appearance in the 2016 George Ryder Stakes. Photo: Steve Hart

Lucia Valentina has been a standout through her entire 25 start racing career since first appearing on course in her native New Zealand in 2013; posting an impressive six wins and five minors, highlighted by two triumphs at Group 1 level.

Having justified a recent trip abroad when finishing a credible fifth behind Japanese stayer A Shin Hikari in the Group 1 Hong Kong Cup (2000m) at Sha Tin on December 13th, Lees was thrilled with the talented daughter of Savabeel’s performance and revealed she has returned to light duties ahead of the 2016 Autumn Carnival.

“I’m very proud of the way she handled the entire assignment and, of course, how well she ran,” Lees said.

“One of her best career runs.”

“She ran fifth, but it was against some really world class horses and we were really happy with her performance.

“It was the fastest run Cup in the last 10 years, he was running 23 something for every sectional and he just kept going.

“It was set up for the backmarkers, but there was no chance they were running him down.

“Lucia Valentina arrived home from Werribee earlier in the week, and has gone to Ellalong for about 10 days before returning to Broadmeadow.

“She will do some exercise whilst there on the aquaciser.”

Lucia Valentina immediately stamped herself as a filly to follow upon debuting in Australia during the 2014 Autumn Carnival; winning the Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) and finishing third in the Group 1 Australian Oaks (2400m) most notably.

Continuing to impress through the 2014 Spring Carnival, Lucia Valentina charged home to win the Group 2 Tramway Stakes (1400m) first-up; posting her second win at the highest level in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) before running third in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) most notably.

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