Luvaluva’s revised Group One Australian Oaks campaign has gained traction at Randwick with a dogged victory in the Adrian Knox Stakes.
After the filly missed the Group One Vinery Stud Stakes, her preferred lead-up to next Saturday’s 2400m staying test, trainer John Sargent had to revert to a strategy he employed with Gust Of Wind in 2015.
Gust Of Wind was fourth in the Group Three Adrian Knox Stales (2000m) but stepped up in distance to claim the the Oaks.
And after watching Luvaluva ($8) storm home out wide late to shade Pretty To Sea ($14) by a head, Sargent was confident the three-year-old could also handle a seven-day back-up.
“I think we’ve got a good one here too,” he said.
“She’s got a good constitution, she’s fit now, she won’t have to do anything.”
Luvaluva gave her rivals a 7kg advantage and Kerrin McEvoy timed his run to perfection despite Sargent having some misgivings.
“I was thinking he might have waited a bit longer but he obviously thought he had to get going with the weight,” he said.
“She was there to be beaten up the straight but she went to the line strong.”
Sargent said Luvaluva, who was ruled out of last Saturday’s Vinery Stud Stakes because of unsatisfactory blood work, would have a relaxing week.
“She had the hiccup missing the Vinery but this should top her up. We’ll get her to the beach tomorrow and top her off for the Oaks.”
Sargent said dropping back 5kg to 55kg would also work to Luvaluva’s advantage.
Luvaluva shortened from $11 to the $4.60 second elect for the Oaks after her win to sit behind Unforgotten ($3.50) on the TAB market on Saturday.
Chilly Cha Cha ($10) was a short head third, a run that trimmed her Oaks odds from $51 to $26.