Savabeel mare the queen of randwick

Lucia Valentina stamped herself as Savabeel’s premier daughter with a dazzling display in Saturday’s Gr 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Randwick. The five-year-old routed her rivals in The Championships’ showcase event for her third victory at the highest level.

A lonely last in the early running, she improved across the top only to be denied room at the top of the straight but it mattered little once she did work clear. “I am on cloud nine, this is amazing,” successful jockey Damien Oliver said. “She couldn’t go with them at all early. If you just leave her alone this mare she will reward you late.

“Coming to the turn I had a lot of horse and not much room to go anywhere. I went up in between a couple as we straightened and I got shut out of that. She picked herself up again and just went whoosh. At the furlong it was nearly all over, I went from the outhouse to the penthouse.”

Trainer Kris Lees said he would be doing all he can to keep the Lib Petagna-owned Lucia Valetina in his stable. “They’ve been talking about sending her to stud so I might attack them right now and see if I can go another year.

“It’s very rewarding when you set a horse for a race so far out. I just thought I had to do something a bit different, thinking I would be taking on Winx to be fair. She’s got a terrific turn of foot, she’s so effective at 2000m and she loves a gap between runs, I don’t know why it took me so long to do it.

“I just wanted to get her here with fresh legs, she didn’t have a spell, she just had a little bit of time off so she got here in really good order. I had no doubt about her being effective second up. All my staff have done a wonderful job with her, she can be a bit of a handful, I’m just so happy.”

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