Group 1 performer Luvaluva (NZ) retired

Group 1 performer Luvaluva (NZ) (Mastercraftsman) has run her last race with a tendon injury ending her racetrack career after finishing fifth in Saturday’s Gr.3 Epona Stakes (1900m).

The John Sargent-trained mare won six of her 30 starts including the Gr.2 Wakeful Stakes (2000m) in 2017, while she was also a multiple Group Three winner, in addition to boasting a third-placing in her native New Zealand, when placed in the NZ Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes (1600m) in 2019.

“She was a great mare for us,” Sargent said. “She strained a tendon at Rosehill last weekend. She’s too valuable to give a break and then go again.”

While Darren Thomas of Seymour Bloodstock is the majority shareholder in Luvaluva, the New Zealand-bred daughter of Mastercraftsman was raced by a syndicate and is likely to be offered for sale.

Sargent outlaid NZ$55,000 for Luvaluva at the New Zealand Bloodstock Ready To Run Sale and said she appealed on both type and pedigree.

“She’s a big, scopey type and I know the breeder, Christopher Grace, breeds a good horse,” he said. “She was a nice walking staying type of filly.”

The winner of more than $850,000, Luvaluva is also the older half-sister to Sargent’s quality three-year-old colt Brandenburg, a son of Burgundy that was purchased on the promise of his older sibling.

The winner of last month’s Gr.2 Hobartville Stakes (1400m), Brandenburg is the third favourite for Saturday week’s Gr.1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) behind Melody Belle and Shared Ambition.

Brandenburg ran fourth in Saturday’s weight-for-age Gr.1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) behind heavyweights Dreamforce, The Bostonian and Te Akau Shark.

“That family link will carry on hopefully in the next few weeks,” Sargent said.

“The feedback from Glen Boss was excellent and he stays on, so that is the main thing and it is all systems go.”

Sargent said Luvaluva had been one of the stable’s flagbearers since the affable horseman relocated across the Tasman six years ago, with the trainer also having prepared Oaks winners Kirramosa and Gust Of Wind in that time.

“Horses like her are hard to replace, but I wouldn’t want to put her out and try again. I have had those injuries before,” he said.