The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
Master trainer of three-year-old staying fillies John Sargent gets his chance to win a second VRC Oaks next Thursday with his up-and-comer Luvaluva running the ideal trial with a last-to-first Wakeful Stakes success on Derby Day.
There was late money on the well-bred daughter of Mastercraftsman, Luvaluva backed into $5 second favouritism behind Bring Me Roses in the markets for this year’s Group 2 $300,000 Wakeful Stakes (2000m).
After only getting away fairly from the gates, in-form jockey Blake Shinn allowed her to drop right back off the pace as Snogging hit the front to lead after settling.
At the home turn Shinn and Luvaluva were still dead last with all the work to do and ground to make-up in the bumper 16-starter field.
When the split came at the top of the straight however this filly was good enough to take it and she travelled really strongly into the closing stages of the race.
The one to run down looking the likely winner was the ultra-consistent Lindsay Park-trained Rimraam coming off the second to Pinot in the Group 3 Ethereal Stakes (2000m) over the distance on Caulfield Cup Day.
Rimraam looked the winner having got the lovely run third the fence throughout before moving up to the outside for the pacemaker Snogging at the 200m to hit the front a furlong out.
Inside the final 100m however Luvaluva came right down the outside after picking off the rest of the fillies one by one, coming at Rimraam late in a final stride thriller.
On the line Luvaluva dived and got the win, the brave Rimraam having to settle for third after a late charge from South Australian-trained Glam Guru on the quick back-up off the Moonee Valley Fillies Classic fourth last weekend to snare second in the Wakeful Stakes trifecta.
Jockey Shinn was on fire last Saturday at The Valley riding four Cox Plate Day winners and Humidor for his eye-catching second to Winx in the big one.
Shinn was on Luvaluva for the first time in the Wakeful Stakes and was impressed by what he saw looking ahead to the Group 1 $1 million Kennedy Oaks (2500m) on Thursday.
“He’s been renowned to getting these three-year-old fillies to peak for these Oaks distances,” Shinn said of Sargent after the race.
“I’ve kept a close eye on her right throughout this whole prep.
“She’s been coming into hand really nicely.
“Let’s hope we can take out our first Oaks together with this filly next Thursday.
“She jumped okay so I elected just to ride her cold. She’s got a good sprint.
“She took all the gaps when I needed her to and she hit the line beautifully, you couldn’t have asked for a better Oaks trial and I’m delighted to be riding her.:
The Wakeful Stakes last produced a VRC Oaks winner in 2013 when the also Sargent-trained Kirramosa did the double.
Sargent remains confident the best is yet to come from Luvaluva as she prepares to stretch out and show off in the Oaks.
“The best will come when she gets over the mile and a half,” he said.
“[The distance] should be ideal, her being out of Galileo mare, it will suit her perfectly.”
Luvaluva has firmed into equal $6 second favouritism in VRC Oaks betting with Pinot.
Today’s beaten Wakeful Stakes favourite Bring Me Roses didn’t finish off and has eased right out to $17 in the Oaks odds online.
To back the Wakeful Stakes winner Luvaluva in the 2017 VRC Oaks at the right price, head to Ladbrokes.com.au today.
2017 Wakeful Stakes Results & Finishing Order
Flemington Race 2 – 04/11/2017
|1||7||LUVALUVA (NZ)||John Sargent||Blake Shinn||–||12||55kg|
|2||3||GLAM GURU||Leon Macdonald & Andrew Gluyas||Jeff Lloyd||0.2L||7||55kg|
|3||6||RIMRAAM (NZ)||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Kerrin McEvoy||0.3L||9||55kg|
|4||5||HIYAAM (NZ)||Mick Price||Michael Dee||1.55L||3||55kg|
|5||12||SHEEZDASHING||Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra||Ms Katelyn Mallyon||1.75L||1||55kg|
|6||13||SNOGGING||Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young||Michael Walker||5.25L||15||55kg|
|7||8||IMPROVISE||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||5.45L||6||55kg|
|8||10||TEODORA||Darren Weir||Dean Yendall||5.65L||8||55kg|
|9||4||LUCKY LOUIE||Anthony & Edward Cummings||Ben Melham||6.15L||2||55kg|
|10||15||BERKSHIRE LADY||Danny O’Brien||Craig Williams||6.35L||10||55kg|
|11||9||SMOOTH LANDING||John P Thompson||Damian Lane||6.45L||13||55kg|
|12||1||BRING ME ROSES||Tony McEvoy||Mark Zahra||8.2L||11||57kg|
|13||16||MISS ADMIRATION||Mick Price||Jake Noonan||8.3L||5||55kg|
|14||2||PURE SCOT||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Regan Bayliss||8.5L||14||55kg|
|15||11||PRES DE TOI||Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra||Dwayne Dunn||8.8L||4||55kg|
|16||14||CABIERRO||Anthony Freedman||James Winks||99.9L||16||55kg|
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