John Sargent didn’t get the perfect result with Luvaluva at Te Aroha on Saturday, but the fleeting trip to New Zealand did increase her value.
The Randwick-based former Kiwi trainer believed the Gr.1 New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes (1600m) would give Luvaluva a fine opportunity to land a Group One win and, in the hands of Leith Innes, the daughter of Mastercraftsman ran a highly creditable third to Nicoletta, beaten under a length.
‘’She ran a good race and is obviously looking for more ground,’’ Sargent said. ‘’We knew it was a gamble over the mile as she’s more of a 2000m horse, but we had to have a go.
‘’The Group One placing has added to her value as a broodmare and she showed with the right run she could be hard to beat in her next couple of runs.
‘’Leith said he couldn’t pull her up at the end and it took him until round the back to stop her. She was just warming up.’’
Luvaluva’s next two starts will be in Queensland in the Gr.2 Hollindale Stakes (1800m) at the Gold Coast on May 4 and the Gr.1 Doomben Cup (2000m) at Doomben a fortnight later.
‘’The Hollindale should top her off for the Doomben Cup,’’ Sargent said. ‘’Hopefully she can get her Group One win in the Doomben Cup.’’
Luvaluva won the Gr.2 Wakeful Stakes (2000m) at Flemington before finishing fourth in the Gr.1 VRC Oaks (2500m) and has also won last year’s Gr.3 Kembla Grange Classic (1800m) and Gr.3 Adrian Knox Stakes (2000m).
‘’I sent Campbell Ashby, my foreman, over to look after her and he said she has come through Saturday’s race well,’’ Sargent said.
‘’She’ll have a week at Roger James’ spelling property before she comes back here. I’ll probably give her a trial to top her off for Brisbane.’’
Meanwhile, Sargent is hoping to pull off a late bid on the Gr.1 Australian Oaks (2400m) at Randwick on Saturday with House Of Cartier, just like he did four years ago in a finish which has been made even more memorable by the feats of the champion Winx.
Sargent saddled up Gust Of Wind to win the 2015 Australian Oaks and the filly goes down in history as the last horse to beat Winx in a race.
While Gust Of Wind never won another race, though she did finish fourth in the Gr.1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) and sixth in the Gr.1 Melbourne Cup (3200m), Winx has gone on to become the world’s best galloper.
“We made the late payment for the Oaks with Gust Of Wind and it worked out well so we’re hoping to do it again,’’ Sargent said.
House Of Cartier, an Alamosa daughter of multiple Group One winner Shez Sinsational, has had two starts for Sargent since being sent over from the Pukekohe stable of Nigel Tiley, for whom she had six starts for a win over 1400m and three placings, including a second in the Gr.2 Eight Carat Classic (1600m) at Ellerslie on Boxing Day and a fourth to Imelda Mary in the Gr.2 Royal Stakes (2000m) six days later.
She made her Australian debut in the Gr.3 Kembla Grange Classic (1600m) on March 15 when finishing sixth and was successful when stepping up to 2000m at Hawkesbury 13 days later.
‘’She got galloped on at Kembla Grange so we opted to take the softer option with her next start and she got the money at Hawkesbury,’’ Sargent said. ‘’She’s kept improving and Brenton Avdulla has ridden her both times and he wants to stick with her.
‘’She is very like Kirramosa, who won the Gr.1 VRC Oaks (2500m) for me.” - NZ Racing Desk