FORMER New Zealand mare Lucia Valentina is outright favourite for the Caulfield Cup on the back of her brilliant win in the Turnbull Stakes at Flemington. slashed the odds of Lucia Valentina from $10 to $6 on the back of her Group 1 win in the Turnbull.


Lucia Valentina’s win guaranteed she would be exempt from the Caulfield Cup ballot.


Kerrin McEvoy was effusive in his praise for the mare who overcame an interrupted run to burst clear in the straight.


“She’s got a good turn of foot and that’s what you need at the end of a Caulfield Cup” McEvoy said.


“I was looking to go in and out and ended up going in and she was good enough to zip through.”


Kris Lees praised McEvoy for his ride as the plan was to be more positive on her and he put her in “the perfect spot”.


Lees said what he liked most was how strong the four-year-old was through the line.


“She chased home some pretty good horses, onwards and upwards from here,” Lees said.


“There is a little bit of improvement there. There is not a lot of her, but she has come a long way.”


Lees noted that he had not given Lucia Valentina any fast work since Tuesday after having a bit of heat in her off fore hoof.


Lucia Valentina, a drifter from $7 to $9 before firming to start $8.50, scored by a half length from Lidari, $18, with a short half head to Brambles, $10, third.


Tommy Berry said The Offer, which finished sixth, showed he was back on track, but noted that for the first time felt the ground the final 200.


“We’re praying for a bit of rain,” Berry said.


Happy Trails, backed from $6.50 to $5.50 favourite, finished 14, but Michael Rodd said he was never able to release the horse who was locked away.


Damien Oliver admitted to a “pilot error” on Silent Achiever, which finished ninth.


“I gave away my position early. I should have been more positive on her .. she would appreciate a bit of give in the ground,” Oliver said.