Luvaluva fit and ready for Oaks challenge

luvaluva
Luvaluva has come through her narrow Adrian Knox win in good order and is primed for the ATC Oaks.

Trainer John Sargent has another Oaks in his sights with in-form Luvaluva who is backing up in the Classic for fillies at Randwick after taking out the Adrian Knox Stakes.

Sargent won the ATC Australian Oaks (2400m) at Randwick in 2015 when Gust Of Wind beat Winx who has been unbeaten in the three years since.

The Randwick trainer also won the 2013 VRC Oaks with Kirramosa and the 2012 Queensland Oaks with Quintessential.

“I think she has probably got a bit more scope than the others,” Sargent said of Luvaluva.

“I think what you’ll see on Saturday, she’s got a great constitution, no injury problems and I think you’ll see a very good horse in the spring as a four-year-old too.

“She’s a big strong, filly and she looks like a four-year-old now.”

Luvaluva won the Wakeful Stakes (2000m) at Flemington during the spring and was fourth in the VRC Oaks (2500m).

This campaign she has won the Kembla Grange Classic (1600m) second-up before Saturday’s Group Three Adrian Knox (2000m) at Randwick, carrying 60kg.

Sargent had originally planned to run Luvaluva in the Group One Vinery Stud Stakes a week earlier but was unhappy with her blood picture.

Sargent said Luvaluva had come through the Adrian Knox in great order.

“She’s done very well considering it was a weight record for the race,” he said.

“No horse had carried 60 before, so it was a very big effort.”

Luvaluva was the $4.60 second favourite on Monday behind the Chris Waller-trained Unforgotten ($3.50) ahead of acceptances and the barrier draw on Tuesday.

Sargent has confidence Luvaluva’s staying prowess can come to the fore.

“The Vinery leader (Hiyaam) will be in there so it should be a true pace which will suit her because she’s an out-and-out stayer,” he said.

“Kerrin McEvoy has ridden her twice now for two wins and knows the filly so that’s a big help.

“I’d just like a nice draw so that she could be midfield and go to sleep. I think the staying test will really suit her and with some of the others it might not.”