Lucia Valentina stars on return

Savabeel mare Lucia Valentina turned in a sizzling performance at Randwick to win the Gr 2 Tramway Stakes on Saturday. Returning after a five month spell, the four-year-old delighted trainer Kris Lees with her first-up display.

“It was certainly good to see her back,” he said. “It was a really good effort and it looked like she got into a bit of trouble at the 500, but when she got balanced up she was strong through the line.”

The winner of the Gr 3 Wellington Stakes for Cambridge trainer Stephen Marsh, Lucia Valentina was an instant hit in Australia when she was transferred to Lees’ Broadmeadow yard. She triumphed in the Gr 1 Storm Queen Stakes at Rosehill and then finished an unlucky third in the Gr 1 ATC Oaks.

Lees said he has yet to confirm which path he will take with the mare this spring. “She’s entered in all the big races. She’ll probably go to the George Main Stakes in two weeks’ time and then maybe the Turnbull before we decide on the Caulfield Cup or the Cox Plate.”

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