There was no love for Tofane in Saturday’s...
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.
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).
2018 Adrian Knox Stakes Results & Finishing Order
Randwick Race 10 – 07/04/2018
|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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