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G1 target next for Pohutukawa after Kembla Classic win

Mike Hedge

Pohutukawa announced herself as one of the best fillies of her age in training in Australia when she overcame a torrid run to score a hollow win in Friday’s G3 Kembla Grange Classic.

Ridden quietly from the gates by James McDonald, Pohutukawa settled a little worse than midfield where she remained until the 1000m when she edged closer as the pace slackened.

With the speed still against her, McDonald called for a forward move at the 600m and Pohutukawa responded willingly, continuing her run seven-wide around the home turn and then striding to the front at the 300m.

After breaking away to three-length lead, she was eased down to win by 1-1/4 lengths from Frankly Awesome and Scarlet Dream.

Trainer James Cummings said the G1 Vinery Stud Stakes at Rosehill on Saturday, 30 March was now a likely target for the filly.

“The critical thing for today was to demonstrate a lot of strength through the line,” Cummings said.

“It was really what we wanted to see.”

The manner in which Pohutukawa fulfilled her trainer’s hopes suggested the 2,000m of the Vinery would be within her capabilities.

Pohutukawa is a daughter of the Darley stallion Medaglia d’Oro who is enjoying a sparkling recent run, he is also the sire of G2 Reisling Stakes winner and Golden Slipper hope Tenley.