Australian Oaks Next for Adrian Knox Winner Luvaluva

April 7, 2018

Australian Oaks Next for Adrian Knox Winner Luvaluva

The John Sargent-trained Luvaluva proved her class giving seven kilos to her rivals to win the Adrian Knox Stakes at Royal Randwick on way to the 2018 Australian Oaks Saturday week.

 Luvaluva

Impressive Adrian Knox Stakes winner Luvaluva is onto the 2018 ATC Oaks. Photo: Steve Hart.

The daughter of Mastercraftsman missed last weekend’s Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill due to a virus, but proved she’d overcome the setback with a very gutsy win carrying 60kg to victory in the Group 3 $200,000 Adrian Knox Stakes (2000m).

Closing the card at Randwick for The Championships Day 1, the Adrian Knox Stakes featured a 13 starter field of three-year-old fillies and all but Luvaluva had just 53kg on their back.

The last start Group 3 Kembla Grange Classic winner was still too good for them late however, given a beautiful ride from her last start hoop Kerrin McEvoy.

McEvoy had Luvaluva, with the blinkers back on, right back in the field off the strong pace set early by The Promise and then Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott-trained Foxwedge filly Wedgie who came off a third in the Kembla Grange.

Wedgie from a wide gate fought for front-running and took it midrace.

At the 900m McEvoy had Luvaluva on a slow improve into ninth before starting her run in earnest from the 600m.

Approaching the turn, the Ciaron Maher-trained Ocean Park filly Pretty To Sea started to move closer on the inside.

Once on the straight Luvaluva went to the outside, while the race favourite Harmattan also came with her late run getting the split.

At the 300m Wedgie was still in the lead but was quickly tackled by Luvaluva who took the length of the straight to win.

In the end she got up over the top of Pretty To Sea ($15), while the in-form Kris Lees-trained Chilly Cha Cha ($10) on the back of successive wins in easier company finished off third.

Luvaluva will now race in the Group 1 $1 million Australian Oaks (2400m) in seven days’ time looking to be the first to win that off an Adrian Knox lead-up since the also Sargent-trained Gust Of Wind (4th in 2015).

“I think we’ve got a good one here too,” Sargent said of his filly post-win.

“She was there to be beaten up the straight but no, she went to the line strong.

“We had the hiccup last week…we’ll take her to the beach tomorrow and that will top her off for the Oaks next week.

“She can drop back now five kilos and that will help a lot [to get the 2400m].”

The Adrian Knox Stakes – Australian Oaks double meanwhile was last completed by Royal Descent (2013).

After the Adrian Knox Stakes results Luvaluva firmed in from $11 to $4.40 in pre-field Australian Oaks odds at Ladbrokes.com.au.

2018 Adrian Knox Stakes Results & Finishing Order

Randwick Race 10 – 07/04/2018

Place # Horse Trainer Jockey Margin Br. Weight SP
1 1 LUVALUVA (NZ) John Sargent Kerrin McEvoy 6 60kg $5
2 11 PRETTY TO SEA (NZ) Ciaron Maher Michael Dee 0.2L 1 53kg $14
3 5 CHILLY CHA CHA (NZ) Kris Lees Jason Collett 0.3L 3 53kg $10
4 4 HARMATTAN James Cummings Michael Walker 0.6L 4 53kg $2.45F
5 13 JUNGLE FISH Michael Kent Craig Williams 0.9L 12 53kg $17
6 2 SHE’S A TREASURE (NZ) Tony Pike Damian Lane 2.6L 10 53kg (cd 53.5kg) $13
7 3 WEDGIE Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott Tim Clark 3.7L 11 53kg $6.50
8 9 ONE FIRE BEACH Anthony & Edward Cummings Andrew Adkins 5.2L 5 53kg $41
9 7 MISSYBEEL (NZ) Bjorn Baker Ms Kathy O’Hara 5.3L 8 53kg $51
10 8 DISCREET CHARM John P Thompson Jay Ford 7.3L 9 53kg $101
11 12 THE PROMISE John P Thompson Ms Rachel King (a) 8.2L 7 53kg $81
12 6 AONAIR Chris Waller Brenton Avdulla 9.7L 13 53kg $31
13 14 ROC SANDS Glen Thompson Cory Parish 10.6L 2 53kg $151
10 GLOBAL SANCTION Grahame Begg Craig Williams 0

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