Murwillumbah trainer Matthew Dunn is looking...
Sydney horseman John Sargent is quietly confident his Wakeful Stakes winning filly Luvaluva could have what it takes to upset the odds-on favourite Aloisia in 2017 VRC Oaks betting this Thursday.
A final field of 12 three-year-old spring fillies with staying potential are engaged to face off in Flemington Race 8 at 5:00pm (AEDT) on Day 3 of the Melbourne Cup Carnival in this year’s Group 1 $1 million VRC Kennedy Oaks (2500m).
The clear favourite and one to beat after a brilliant win over the colts and geldings in the Moonee Valley Vase last time out is the Aaron Purcell-trained Aloisia.
She has eased out slighting in VRC Oaks betting at Ladbrokes.com.au, the Thousand Guineas winning daughter of Azamour out from $1.55 to $1.65.
Her dominance in the markets sees just two other single-figure fancies in the VRC Kennedy Oaks odds this season with the Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott-trained Ethereal Stakes winner Pinot ($6.50) and Luvaluva ($7).
“The favourite looks a very good filly, there is no hiding that,” Sargent admitted to Racing Victoria on Wednesday morning.
“And when you look at how dominant she was at Moonee Valley it is easy to think that she will be very hard to beat in the Oaks.
“But getting out to 2500m can sometimes bring them undone and I think my filly will relish it.”
Drawn wider in barrier 10, but with time to overcome the alley, Sargent’s in-form Mastercraftsman filly Luvaluva has Blake Shinn retaining the ride on Ladies’ Day.
Shinn is after his first win in the classic, while Sargent chases his second Crown Oaks success after that with Kirramosa in 2013.
Kirramosa won the Group 2 Wakeful Stakes (2000m) on Derby Day the Saturday before her VRC Oaks victory and that is the same double Luvaluva is out to emulate this week.
Taking her career record up to two wins from six starts, Luvaluva had a long neck to spare on the line over runner-up Glam Guru in the Wakeful Stakes after jumping from barrier 12 (of 16) in her first look at Flemington.
She has experience at Headquarters now and has progressed well since the Wakeful Stakes win according to Sargent who believes she’s a genuine stayer who will eat-up the Oaks distance.
“Luvaluva is a genuine stayer and we want it to be a tough test, that might be our chance,” he said.
“Hopefully there is a bit of speed in the race and it turns in to a test of stamina.
“We’ve always planned to have her peaking for these two runs and I’m delighted with the way she has bounced out of the run last Saturday.
“I haven’t done a lot with her, she has been to the beach, she was fit from her work in Sydney and it is just about keeping her happy now.”
As for race tactics, Sargent said he wouldn’t be over-instructing Shinn and allow the hoop to read the speed in the race allowing Luvaluva to get into her rhythm.
“Tactically, I will just leave it up to Blake, I’d imagine he will let the speed go underneath him and let her find her feet like she did last Saturday,” he said.
“But in saying that, I thought the same with Kirramosa a couple of years ago and she ended up third in the run so it will just all depend on the pace of the race and how Blake judges it.”
To check out the latest VRC Oaks 2017 odds and offers on the next spring Group 1 head to Ladbrokes.com.au today.
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