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Trainer Kris Lees believes an extended gap between runs will give Lucia Valentina her best chance in the $4 million Queen Elizabeth Stakes.

Lucia Valentina heads to the weight-for-age showpiece of The Championships at Randwick on April 9 for her next start after an encouraging first-up fourth under a big weight in the Coolmore Classic (1500m) on March 12.

It was Lucia Valentina’s first start since returning from Hong Kong where she finished fifth in the Hong Kong Cup (2000m) on International Day in December.

“She’ll go straight into the Queen Elizabeth,” Lees said.

“She’ll have a trial next Tuesday in between.

“She goes very well when she’s a little bit on the fresh side.”

Lees said Lucia Valentina had failed second-up in the past but that had been off shorter gaps between her first and second runs and over shorter than 2000m.

“If we had have run this week in the Emancipation Stakes, that’s where she’d get that plain second-up run and be a little dour in a race like that,” Lees said.

“That’s why she’ll trial instead, and that will be her second-up run in some way.”

Winner of the 2014 Vinery Stud Stakes and that year’s Turnbull Stakes at Group One level, Lucia Valentina is at $26 for the Queen Elizabeth Stakes with Winx the $1.60 favourite after claiming her fifth Group One win in Saturday’s George Ryder Stakes.

 
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