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Lucia Valentina Flying Under Radar: Lees
Trainer Kris Lees is adamant that Lucia Valentina (Savabeel-Staryn Glenn, by Montjeu) is going just as well as she was when winning the Gr1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) in Sydney in the autumn, reports AAP. Lees, who has deliberately spaced Lucia Valentina's runs this campaign in the hope of replicating her brilliant autumn form, believes the 6YO is somewhat of a forgotten horse leading into Saturday's $3 million Gr1 WS Cox Plate at Moonee Valley. However, he acknowledges that the task of taking on Winx and Hartnell is a steep one. "I think in other years she'd be a lot tighter in the market. But I think it's just a reflection on how these other two are going. And it's going to be a wonderful race," Lees said. "She excelled in the autumn with a nice gap between runs." He added: "We feel we've got her here in a similar vein. It's probably a stronger race than the Queen Elizabeth, but she's getting here in really good order and I'm looking forward to Saturday." Lucia Valentina, who is coming off a fast finishing third behind Black Heart Bart in the Gr1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) four weeks ago, is currently a $21 chance for Saturday's weight-for-age feature.