Nov 01, 2016
NEWCASTLE: Tuesday, November 1, 2016: LUCIA Valentina has run her last race and will begin a new career at stud immediately.
Confirming her retirement this morning, Kris Lees announced Lucia Valentina will be mated with champion Australian stallion Fastnet Rock at Coolmore Stud in the Hunter Valley in the next fortnight.
An injury to her off foreleg has prematurely ended the six-year-old Savabeel mare’s racing career.
“Obviously, it’s very disappointing, but that’s racing,” Lees said from Melbourne, where he will saddle Onemorezeta in the final race on today’s marathon Melbourne Cup program at Flemington.
“Lucia Valentina has been a wonderful mare to us.
“Whilst the injury is serious enough not to race her again, it won’t affect her career at stud.”
Lucia Valentina, owned by New Zealander Lib Petagna, retires as the winner of seven races – including three Group 1s (2014 Vinery Stud Stakes at Rosehill Gardens and Turnbull Stakes at Flemington and this year’s $4m Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Royal Randwick) and $4.35m in prizemoney.
All of her three successes at racing’s elite level were at 2000m.
Lucia Valentina last raced when seventh to champion mare Winx in the $3m Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley last Saturday week.
Reflecting on that performance, Lees feels the mare’s injury almost certainly contributed to her below par result.
“She was disappointing in the Cox Plate, and that was unlike her,” Lees said.
With Lucia Valentina an absentee from Saturday’s $2m Emirates Stakes (2000m) – formerly Mackinnon Stakes – at Flemington, Lees has resisted any temptation to back up his Cantala Stakes winner Le Romain in the Group 1 feature on the final day of the Cup carnival.
“Absolutely not,” Lees said. “Le Romain has already left Melbourne by float to return home and spell for the autumn.”
Le Romain’s next target is the $3m Group 1 Doncaster Mile at Randwick on April 1 during The Championships.