Vinery Stud Stakes scratching Luvaluva will have her final Australian Oaks lead up run in the Group 3 $200,000 Adrian Knox Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on day one of The Championships on Saturday.
Luvaluva was scheduled to step out in last Saturday’s Group 1 $500,000 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill but trainer John Sargent was forced to scratch the filly after she returned a high white cell count in a routine blood analysis.
By running last Saturday, Luvaluva would have had a two week gap in between runs before stepping out in the Group 1 $1m James Boag’s Premium Australian Oaks (2400m) at Randwick on day two of The Championship on April 14.
Now Sargent will have to back the Mastercraftsman filly up in seven days if she is to take her place in the Blue Riband Classic for the fillies.
Sargent has given Luvaluva the all clear to return to the races and the filly worked in great style at ’The Breakfast With The Stars’ at Randwick on Tuesday morning.
“She got over it pretty quickly,” Sargent told Racenet.
“It was a bit like a cold and we just couldn’t risk running her last week.
“I suppose only going across the road on her home track might even be a blessing and she’s proven that she can handle a quick back-up.”
“The Vinery did space her nicely but you back up in Melbourne in the spring so I don’t think there’s any issue.”
“This is just a hiccup along the way. It’s not major. She’ll race then we’ll tick her over.”
Kerrin McEvoy rides Luvaluva in the Adrian Knox Stakes and he was also aboard at Randwick on Tuesday morning for the filly’s vital gallop.
“She was nice and bright and I couldn’t fault the way she felt, comparing her to previously when I’ve ridden her. You’d like to think she can run really well on Saturday,” McEvoy said.
Luvaluva has drawn barrier six in the fourteen horse Adrian Knox Stakes field and has been allocated the 60kg top weight after winning the Group 3 $200,000 Carlton Draught Kembla Grange Classic (1600m) at Kembla Grange on March 16.
Adrian Knox Stakes betting at Ladbrokes.com.au has Luvaluva as the $3.10 favourite just ahead of the James Cummings trained Harmattan at $3.40.
The lightly race Harmatttan has been to the races on three occasions for a maiden win at Sale and a win in a 1400m BenchMark 64 Handicap at Pakenham before finishing second to Think Bleue in the Group 3 $150,000 Alexandra Stakes (1600m) at The Valley on March 23.
Michael Walker sticks with Harmattan who will jump from barrier four.