Luberon gets green light for 1000 Guineas

Group 1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m) contender Luberon. Photo: Kenton Wright (Race Images)

The connections of Classic contender Luberon can breathe easy again after the gifted filly produced a flawless trial performance on the synthetic track at Cambridge on Thursday.

Trained by Lance Noble for breeders Cambridge Stud, the daughter of Embellish’s final race day outing ahead of the Group 1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m) turned into a nightmare at Pukekohe last Saturday.

Luberon started favourite in the Group 2 Soliloquy Stakes (1400m) and looked to be travelling easily in the straight before she veered out sharply under visiting Melbourne apprentice Celine Gaudray and hit the outside fence.

The filly finished at the tail of the field, but came through relatively unscathed and was ordered to trial to the satisfaction of the stewards, which she accomplished with her runner-up finish in an open 1300m heat on Thursday.

“It was a relief and she went really well. It wasn’t ideal bringing her back to the trials four days after something like that, but she jumped out and we rode her quietly, with plenty of horses to follow,” Noble said.

“She came out and came around the corner perfectly and Warren (Kennedy) gave her a slap down the shoulder and she quickened up and went nice and straight.”

Luberon’s effort confirmed her passage south for the Guineas at Riccarton on November 18.

“It’s all systems go now, she’s done everything right and the stewards have cleared her. I’ll be able to sleep again,” Noble said.

Prior to the Soliloquy, Luberon had won at Te Rapa and Matamata in her first two outings for the season and is currently the equal second favourite with Mary Shan at +600 for the Guineas behind the +350 market leader Molly Boom.

Luberon’s well-performed stablemate Polygon also stepped out in the same trial at Cambridge and after a tardy start, made ground to finish midfield.

“She’s had a gap between runs and has never really performed on the synthetic so she will run over a mile at Te Rapa, a track where she’s unbeaten, next week,” Noble said.

Polygon won three times last season, including successes in the Group 2 Royal Stakes (2000m) and the Group 3 Eulogy Stakes (1600m).

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