Lys Gracieux

Lys Gracieux (Image:

Lane welcomes Lys Gracieux Cox Plate news

Damian Lane described the anticipated participation of Japanese Group 1 winner Lys Gracieux in this year's Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) as 'great for the race'.

Racing Victoria confirmed on Wednesday morning that the Australian Government's Department of Agriculture had granted permission for Lys Gracieux to travel to Victoria despite not initially meeting the necessary requirements for importation into Australia as she competed in Hong Kong in late April.

Following the news, Lys Gracieux moved to a quote of $9 for the Cox Plate behind Mystic Journey ($4.50) and Avilius ($7) with BetEasy.

Lane, 25, guided Lys Gracieux to victory in the Group 1 Takarazuka Kinen (2200m) at Hanshin in June, which led to the galloper securing an invitation from the Moonee Valley Racing Club to contest the Cox Plate.

"She's a very talented mare so it'd be great for the race," Lane said of the five-year-old mare trained by Yoshito Yahagi.

"She's travelled well to Hong Kong and performed well in the past.

"She's competed at the highest level in Japan and is very versatile."

Lane said that he hadn't spoken to connections since news of Lys Gracieux's eligibility to race in the Cox Plate was released.

Apart from her Takarazuka Kinen performance, Lys Gracieux has travelled successfully in the past having run second in the G1 Hong Kong Vase (2400m) last December before returning to Hong Kong for a third placing in the G1 QEII Cup (2000m) in April.

Lane enjoyed an incredibly successful three-month riding stint in Japan between April and June, winning at a 30 per cent strike-rate (38 wins from 124 rides).

He won 13 Stakes races, including two at international Group 1 level (Takarazuka Kinen and Victoria Mile), as well as a domestic G1 victory on the lesser NAR circuit (Teio Sho).

Overall, Lane won races worth ¥880,462,000 (A$11.5 million) while in Japan.