Luberon primed for Riccarton mission

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  • October 09, 2023
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By Kevin Robertson, LOVERACING.NZ News Desk

Promising filly Luberon confirmed she is right on schedule for a trip to Christchurch later in the spring with a comprehensive winning performance at Matamata.

The Lance Noble-trained daughter of Embellish had opened her three-year-old campaign with a comfortable win at Te Rapa over 1200m last month and took a rise in distance in her stride on Saturday as she overcame her six rivals in the 1400m contest.

Settled outside pacemaker Tears Of Victory by rider Warren Kennedy, Luberon took over rounding the home bend and quickly established a winning break.

Although wanting to race greenly in the final 200m she comfortably held out a late charge from Loch Katrine and Tulsi who both closed off nicely to fill the minor placings.

Noble was happy to excuse the wayward behaviour of his charge, preferring to praise the way she accomplished her task.

“She wants a little more practice left-handed as it was only her second start going that way around,” Noble said.

“She came around the corner a bit green and was out on her own for a fair way, while she was also getting a little tired near the end.

“I think there is a lot of improvement to come.

“It has been three weeks since her last run and she has done well so I was a little worried she may have been underdone, but to her credit she has stuck to the task and got the job done.”

Noble indicated the filly would have one more start in the north before heading to Riccarton where she holds a nomination for both the Gr.1 Barneswood Farm New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m) and the Gr.1 Al Basti Equiworld Dubai New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m).

“The Soliloquy Stakes (Gr.2, 1400m at Pukekohe) is in three weeks and I think we will go to that option and then head to Christchurch,” he said.

“Her father won the 2000 Guineas so I don’t think she is going to have any problem getting the distance (1600m) down there.”

Kennedy was also pleased to see how well Luberon finished off her task.

“She is still learning about left-handed racing and just needs some practise,” he said.

“She was quite green and never really let down as she was running about, so it was a good win and done purely on ability.

“Lance is doing the right thing giving her the practise and it will stand her in good stead when she goes to those bigger races down south.”

TAB Bookmakers reacted swiftly to the win by moving Luberon in from $26 to $5 on the Fixed Odds market for the 1000 Guineas where she is equal favourite with Molly Bloom.

Bred and owned by Cambridge Stud couple Brendan and Jo Lindsay, Luberon is the second foal of Fastnet Rock mare Elegant Achiever and comes from a family littered with European stakes sperformers along with Industrialist, the champion middle distance performer for the 1999-2000 season in Hong Kong. Noble made it a winning double for the day when producing Iffin Doubt Dance to win the third race on the card, again with Kennedy in the saddle.

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