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Kembla Grange alternative gives Pohutukawa G3 prospects

Mike Hedge

A recent G2 placing at Randwick suggests that Pohutukawa is ready to pick up another Stakes victory when she runs in Friday’s G3 Kembla Grange Classic at Kembla.

Pohutukawa is regarded by the stable as a highly progressive three-year-old filly and showed she deserved that rating when running on strongly over the 1,400m of the G1 Surround Stakes at Randwick on Saturday, 2 March to finish fifth behind high-class filly Nakeeta Jane.

That followed a second behind the same filly over 1,200m at her previous start when first up since the spring when she made her Stakes breakthrough in the Listed Desirable Stakes at Flemington.

“She hasn’t had clear air since William Buick won on her at Flemington in the spring,” said trainer James Cummings.

“It will be wonderful to see this filly get her opportunity for a Group win.”

The daughter of Medaglia D’Oro is also entered for the G1 Coolmore Classic, a race for which she is the fourth emergency, at Rosehill on Saturday.

With a start in the Coolmore unlikely, the 1,600m and the more moderate opposition in the Kembla Grange race are a good alternative.

Pohutukawa, who will be ridden by James McDonald, will also be fitted with blinkers for the first time.