John Sargent is on target to send one Group One prospect across the Tasman from Australia, while he has received a filly from New Zealand for a possible Sydney Group One mission.
The former Kiwi trainer is setting Luvaluva for the Gr.1 Fiber Fresh New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes (1600m) at Te Aroha on April 6 and a newcomer to his Randwick stable is House Of Cartier, whose major assignment will be the Gr.1 Australian Oaks (2400m) at Randwick on April 13.
House Of Cartier, a daughter of Alamosa and the Gr.1 Auckland Cup (3200m) winner Shez Sinsational, had six starts for Pukekohe trainer Nigel Tiley for a win and three placings.
Her win came over 1400m at Pukekohe in December and she then stepped up to two black-type events, finishing a handy second to Pinmedown in the Gr.2 Eight Carat Classic (1600m) at Ellerslie on Boxing Day then fourth to Imelda Mary in the Gr.2 Royal Stakes (2000m) six days later. She was then freshened and ran fifth over 1200m behind She’s A Thief at Ellerslie last month.
“She came over here about eight or nine days ago,’’ Sargent said. ‘’She has settled in well and had an easy gallop on Saturday morning.
“She will go to the Kembla Grange Classic (Gr.3, 1600m) on Friday and Brenton Avdulla will ride her.
“The plan is to get her to the (Australian) Oaks (Gr.1, 2400m). She’s not nominated, but if she goes well at Kembla Grange then again in the Vinery Stakes (Gr.1, 2000m) we’ll pay the late nomination.
‘’There are some good fillies over here, but will they get 2400m? That’s the big question. She looks as though she’ll have no trouble staying the distance.’’
While awaiting House Of Cartier’s Australian debut, Sargent has been pleased with the progress of Luvaluva, particularly her second-up run at Randwick last Saturday when she finished runner-up to Nettoyer in the Gr.3 Aspiration Quality (1600m).
“She was three wide in the open and fought the others off then Blake Shinn came off her back on the winner and beat her,’’ Sargent said.
‘’Her run proved to me she’s back where she was at her best. She’ll have a trial in two weeks, either at Gosford or Warwick Farm, then go over for the Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes.
‘’It should be a good race for her and is a softer option than the Coolmore Classic (Gr.1, 1500m) here.
‘’After Te Aroha she can have a week in the paddock in New Zealand then be set for Queensland. She’ll go for the Hollindale Stakes and the Doomben Cup.
The Gr.2 Hollindale Stakes (1800m) is at the Gold Coast on May 4 and the Gr.1 Doomben Cup (2000m) is at Doomben a fortnight later.
Luvaluva, a daughter of Mastercraftsman, won the 2017 Gr.2 Wakeful Stakes (2000m) at Flemington before finishing fourth in the Gr.1 VRC Oaks (2500m) and also won last year’s Gr.3 Kembla Grange Classic (1800m) and Gr.3 Adrian Knox Stakes (2000m).
“We want to win a Group One with her,’’ Sargent said. “Hopefully we can do it at Te Aroha. The big, roomy course should suit her.’’
Sargent believes he could also have another few potential Group One competitors over the Sydney carnival, including Crystal Falls, a Medaglia D’Oro filly who will be on trial for the Gr.1 Longines Golden Slipper Stakes (1200m) on March 23 when she contests the Gr.3 Magic Night Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill on Saturday.
“She ran third in a very strong two-year-old race on debut at Rosehill. It was one of the strongest two-year-old fields we’ve had,’’ he said.
Sargent also has Home Made, a dual winning son of High Chaparral, as an outside chance to get to the Gr.1 Australian Derby (2400m) at Randwick on April 6 and Miss Moana, a one-race winner by Uncle Mo, still in contention for the Gr.1 Australian Oaks (2400m) at Randwick a week later.
“They’d both have to go very well in their next starts to press on,’’ Sargent said. - NZ Racing Desk