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Australian Racing: Pavitra targeting Classic win

There’s five meetings set to take place on Friday including provincial fixtures from Kembla Grange and Ipswich.

Race 7 Kembla Grange

Pavitra @ 3.20

Race 3 Muswellbrook

Rebellion Style @ 6.50

Race 9 Ipswich

Miss McKinley @ 7.00

Pavitra for Group 3 glory

The Group 3 Kembla Grange Classic over 1600m comes up as the seventh race on the card at the New South Wales venue. The scratching of A Lot More Love leaves a field of 14 to go to post with Call Di expected to prove popular with punters. 

The daughter of Frankel is improving with racing following up a maiden victory over 1400m at Randwick Kensington first up this spell with a Group 2 third at Sandown Lakeside. That latest effort came in the Angus Armanasco Stakes over 1400m on a good 4 track.

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Racing from off the pace that day Call Di kept on well to be beaten just two lengths in the ten runner contest. The more experienced Pavitra is preferred here for the Richard & Will Freedman training team.

The selection showed good form at a higher level last spell including when runner-up, beaten a length in the 2500m Group 1 Kennedy Oaks at Flemington at the start of November. That Group 1 second was part of a run of three Group race placings in Melbourne having broken her maiden over 1500m at this venue last September. 

Raced from the front in two of those three Group placings she returned with a solid three length fifth in the 1300m Group 2 Rosehill B.C. Millie Fox at Rosehill last month. The extra distance she tackles here is in her favour and Chad Schofield is taken to steer the American Pharoah filly to victory.

Rebellion to break maiden

The third at Muswellbrook is an interesting 1000m maiden contest. A good 4 surface is forecast with Seductive for the Cody Morgan stable expected to jump as favourite. The three-year-old finished down the field over this trip on debut at Hawkesbury back in August but showed a marked improvement when runner-up at Tamworth last month.

The daughter of Shalaa was ridden more positively on that occasion and while she has been freshened since that effort she has a wide alley to overcome in this contest. With the barrier draw in mind preference is for the Todd Howlett-trained Rebellion Style who made two starts in 2022.

The first of those came on a soft 7 surface when runner-up over 1000m at Port Macquarie back in October. The gelding proved a disappointment when only fifth of seven over this course and distance subsequently however.

It’s notable that that latest effort came on a heavy 9 track but the race is producing winners with three of those in front of him scoring subsequently. Barrier five is a good draw here and he is taken to provide jockey Ashley Morgan with a winner.

McKinley for Ipswich success

In the penultimate race at Ipswich Miss McKinley takes the eye from barrier four. The race in question is an 1100m Benchmark 75 contest with the pick delivering a close second over 1000m at Toowoomba when racing first up last month. 

That effort came on a good 4 track and the daughter of Dawn Approach is set to race in similar conditions in this event. Ben E Thompson’s mount boasts a strong record second up winning twice and placing second once from three starts and is expected to strip fitter for that Toowoomba effort.

The selection should have no issues with the extra 100m she tackles here having run well when third over the trip in a Benchmark 80 event at Toowoomba last September. Miss McKinley has shown a liking for this venue in the past and is selected to register a second win at this track.

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