Australian Thoroughbred

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12/3/202 Godolphin Runners Rosehill
Photo:  Pohutukawa

A strong, last-start clue that a return to winning form was imminent has lifted stable confidence in the prospects of the talented mare Pohutukawa (James McDonald) in Saturday’s G1 Coolmore Classic at Rosehill.

“She surged home in the Guy Walter last time out and her first-up run before that was solid,” said trainer James Cummings.

“She hasn’t won for 12 months, but on the other hand it means she is well-weighted in this race.”

“She’s also gone close in a G1 during that time and has run well in another couple of G1s. I could certainly make a case for her on the strength of those.”

Pohutukawa revealed herself as a quality performer when winning the G3 Kembla Grange Classic last March, the victory earning her a promotion to G1 level at which her best performance has been a close second in the Tatts Tiara in Brisbane.

A breakthrough Stakes win is also within reach for Cascadian (Glyn Schofield) in the G2 Ajax Stakes ahead of a possible start in the G1 Doncaster Mile.

“This will be a vital run for him to put his Doncaster credentials on the line,” Cummings said.

“He got involved in a scrimmage at a vital point last start when he showed he was moving toward a win.”

A significant step-up in class confronts the 2YO filly Thermosphere (James McDonald) in the G3 Magic Night Quality, but Cummings believes she is up to it.

“Her job this week is to step up,” the trainer said.

“It’s a case of turning up the temperature and turning on the performance.”

For Soothing (Tommy Berry), the G3 Maurice McCarten Stakes shapes as an ideal race for a filly who is a specialist at the trip and who excels when fresh.

“She has a wonderful first-up record and 1,100m is right in her hitting zone,” Cummings said.

Soothing ended her most recent campaign with a stunning victory at Flemington during Melbourne Cup week, defeating a strong open-class field in the Listed Century Stakes.

Two starts earlier she staged a similarly impressive performance to come from last to win in Listed company over 1,100m in Adelaide.
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