NSW trainer Kris Lees is happy for Queen Elizabeth Stakes winner Lucia Valentina to fly under the radar as he prepares the Kiwi-bred mare for the Cox Plate.
The trainer is convinced the winner of Sydney's richest race is going just as well heading into Saturday's feature at Moonee Valley.
Lees is aware of the task ahead against but also believes Lucia Valentina is somewhat forgotten in Cox Plate discussions.
"A little bit. Which is fine," Lees said.
"I think in other years she'd be a lot tighter in the market. But I think it's just a reflection on how these other two are going."
After a Hong Kong mission last December, Lees took Lucia Valentina into the $4 million Queen Elizabeth Stakes in Sydney in April second-up with a month between runs.
With more time to prepare her for her spring target he has planned for Lucia Valentina to be third-up on Saturday but has deliberately kept a month between races.
"She excelled in the autumn with a nice gap between runs," he said.
"We feel we've got her here in a similar vein. It's probably a stronger race than the Queen Elizabeth, but she's getting here in really good order and I'm looking forward to Saturday."
There is some rain forecast for tomorrow but Lees would love significant downpours as Lucia Valentina excels in the wet.