Expat New Zealand trainer John Sargent will chase Group One glory on this side of the Tasman this weekend, sending Luvaluva for a raid on the Gr. 1 Fiber Fresh New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes at Te Aroha.
Sydney-based Sargent has won four races and more than A$580,000 in prize-money with Luvaluva, a New Zealand-bred daughter of Mastercraftsman. Her biggest wins have come in the Gr. 2 Wakeful Stakes at Flemington, the Gr. 3 Adrian Knox Stakes and the Gr. 3 Kembla Grange Classic.
Sargent sees this Saturday’s $200,000 fillies and mares’ feature at Te Aroha as the ideal chance to shoot for a win at the highest level.
“She’ll leave the stable in about four hours’ time and fly out of Sydney tonight,” Sargent confirmed to www.theinformant.co.nz this afternoon.
“She’ll be based at Brendon Hawtin’s place in Cambridge, and Leith Innes will ride her on Saturday. We’ll give it our best shot and see how we go.”
Luvaluva’s most recent appearance was in the Gr. 3 Aspiration Quality over 1600 metres at Randwick on March 9, in which she ran second. She then finished fourth in a 1200-metre trial at Warwick Farm on March 22.
“She’s really well,” Sargent said. “She had her final gallop today on the course proper, which was one of the best gallops I’ve ever seen her produce. She should be right at her peak for this weekend.”
Luvaluva will be the first New Zealand runner since the 2013-14 season for Sargent, a premiership-winning trainer who was formerly based at Matamata.