John Sargent has another Oaks in his sights after Luvaluva gave the trainer his third Wakeful Stakes win in five years at Flemington.
Sargent won the 2013 Group Two Wakeful (2000m) with Kirramosa, five days before that filly won the VRC Oaks (2500m).
He added another Wakeful a year later with Thunder Lady who then finished second in the Oaks.
Thunder Lady was ridden to her Wakeful win by Blake Shinn who was also aboard Luvaluva in Saturday’s race for fillies and earned high praise, steering the three-year-old to a last-to-first victory.
“Blake’s on fire at the moment,” Sargent said.
“I said we’d probably have to go back and I just left it to him.
“That’s how he rides and he rode Thunder Lady to win this race very similarly to this.
“He got back and weaved through the field and it will give the filly a bit of confidence. She hasn’t been this way around. It’s all good for Thursday, hopefully.”
Luvaluva ($5) saved ground on the inside before bursting through and got home in the final strides to beat Glam Guru ($20) by a head with a nose to Rimraam ($8) third.
Luvaluva has firmed from $11 to $6 for Thursday’s Oaks (2500m), with Aloisia the $1.70 favourite.
Sargent said Luvaluva was a big, strong filly and the Sydney trainer believes she is more of a staying type than his previous winners.
“She’s shown it from the first trial I gave her as a two-year-old. We put her aside and aimed her for these two races this week,” he said.
Along with a VRC Oaks win, Sargent has also won a Queensland Oaks with Quintessential in 2012 and the 2015 ATC Oaks in Sydney with Gust Of Wind, the last horse to have beaten Winx.
“He’s been renowned for getting these three-year-old fillies to peak for these Oaks distances, and on Oaks day,” Shinn said.