Cummings plots Pohutukawa future

15 March 2019 07:52:51 EST

Godolphin trainer James Cummings has confirmed his star three-year-old Pohutukawa will be aimed at the Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes after an impressive win on Friday.

Cummings elected to race Pohutukawa in the Group 3 Kembla Grange Classic (1600m), rather than head to Randwick for Saturday's Coolmore Classic.

It was a decision that paid off as Pohutukawa put in a strong performance, surging clear early in the straight to score a dominant win over the fast-finishing staying prospects Frankely Awesome and Scarlet Dream.

Cummings said it was likely Pohutukawa would now head back to Group 1 level with the Vinery Stud Stakes in the trainer's sights.

"I'd say we'll give her a chance in the Vinery after that," Cummings said. "She's got a great action.

"She settled well and lost the back of Kris Lees filly (Lady Of Shalott) down the side and was left without cover. It was a big win."

Rival trainer Kris Lees was also pleased after Frankely Awesome showed she was an Oaks prospect to be reckoned with, charging home late to grab second.

"We're back on track," he said. "Off to the Vinery."

Frankely Awesome is 4/1 to win the Australian Oaks, with Aristia 7/1 and Verry Elleegant 21/20.

Meanwhile, Mark Newham, the trainer of third placegetter Scarlet Dream said he was undecided on the filly's next target with the Vinery Stud Stakes and Adrian Knox Stakes (2000m) a week later on 6th April, both on his radar.

"I was happy with the way she found the line," he said. "The first three cleared out late. I'm not sure where we'll go now. We'll work that out when we get home."

It was a good day for the Godolphin blue with Intuition also taking out the time-honoured AJ Bert Lillye Memorial Handicap.

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