Luberon, a stakes performer, secured her spot for the upcoming Group 1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas with a commanding victory at Te Rapa on Sunday.
Prepared for her first seasonal task with an 850m trial at Te Awamutu a month ago, where she finished second behind Group Three winner Devastate, Luberon's trainer Lance Noble was content with her condition heading into the weekend.
Kennedy skilfully manoeuvred his filly into open space as they turned for home, allowing her to reel in her competitors and secure victory by three-quarters of a length over Screamin Eagle.
Noble expressed his satisfaction with Luberon's performance on Sunday, which has instilled confidence in him to pursue a path towards the Group 1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m) with the filly.
“She was a little bit vulnerable, and there is room for improvement, so beating the older horses was a commendable effort,” Noble commented.
“There's a three-year-old race for her next on Matamata Cup Day, and then the Group 3 Soliloquy Stakes (1400m). If all goes well, she'll head to Christchurch after that.”
Luberon had a promising start to her juvenile season last year, marking Cambridge Stud stallion Embellish's first victory on debut before being sidelined after her placement in the Listed Challenge Stakes (1100m) at Pukekohe in November.
Kennedy reflected on her past performances, saying, “She did a really good job at Te Rapa on Sunday, picked up nicely in the straight, and there is a ton of improvement to come.”
Luberon is owned and bred by Cambridge Stud principals Brendan and Jo Lindsay, and they have high hopes that she will continue to bring success in their familiar gold and black chequered silks throughout the spring.