LUCIA VALENTINA – EXPLODES TO A NEW PEAK 2nd UP
Lucia Valentina ran a genuine Group 1 WFA Performance Rating of 107 to easily win the Queen Elizabeth, which is a new career peak (up from 105.) The quality in her win was stamped by both strong overall time and high quality closing sectionals.
She was only 2nd up into this race, which is an unusual preparation with only 11 of the 126 runners in this race since 2005 having the one lead up run. However it’s proven to be a remarkably successful pattern with 4 of those 11 runners winning the race: Pompeii Ruler @ $13, My Kingdom of Fife @ $13, Reliable Man @ $12 and of course Lucia Valentina @ $8.
It's a very small sample, but since 2005 only 8.7% of the runners have come into this race 2nd up, yet they’ve won 33% of the races.
AZKADELLIA – A DESERVED G1 WIN
In our opinion Ciaron Maher is the next superstar of the Australian training ranks. Since the start of the 2013/2014 season there is 37 Trainers across Australia with 100+ runners in Black Type races and Maher’s winning strike rate ranks him #2, behind WA’s Grant Williams. He has a terrific ability to build his horses into a preparation, improving with each run to a peak and there’s no better example of that than Azkadellia.
She’s now had 5 runs this preparation and her ratings in order from first up have been 96.8, 97.5, 100.7, 102.5 and her new peak of 104 in winning the G1 Queen of the Turf on Saturday. It was a well deserved win after 3 previous placings at G1 level, including a very unlucky 3rd in the G1 Myer last Spring where she clearly should have won.
One interesting insight out of Azkadellia’s win is that there were some solid indicators to suggest she could be equally effective over 2000m and could perhaps run to a new peak over that distance. It will be interesting to see what she is aimed at in the Spring.
ATC OAKS – LOWEST RATING SINCE AT LEAST 2000
Sofia Rosa produced a tough effort to sit 3W and win the ATC Oaks, but unfortunately there was very little substance in the quality of the race. Her 98 rating is the lowest of any Oaks winner since at least the year 2000.
Benchmarks around the overall time of the race in the context of a moderate early pace are weak by G1 standards and there’s nothing in any of the other speed indicators we use to offset that. Furthermore, the speed measures are well and truly supported by key form line and margin spread indicators. There were 6 horses within 1.7 lengths at the finish, 3 of them at odds of 25/1, 40/1 and 60/1.
OTHER NOTABLE PERFORMANCES
- The United States 103.6 – Down on his 104.5 Ranvet win, but was worked up pre race. He lost no admirers.
- Happy Clapper 102.8 – Went ahead from his 101.7 Doncaster run. Ideally suited to Handicaps or perhaps 2nd tier WFA races.
- Gallante 101.6 – A good Sydney Cup win, but that’s about all it was. He’d need to lift significantly to be sighted in a Melbourne Cup.
- Rageese 99.7 – First start for Darren Weir he returned a 3YO Stakes class figure of 99.7. With Weir’s ability to gradually improve horses, he could go on with it and win more.