The clash between New Zealand’s best middle-distance filly Prowess and Sydney’s leading light Pavitra is shaping as one of the match-ups of the afternoon at Rosehill.
A last-start Group 1 winner against the older horses, Prowess arrives in Sydney with quite the reputation while Pavitra, runner-up in the VRC Oaks last spring, is coming off an explosive four-length victory over a smart field in the Kembla Grange Classic.
The pair will cross paths for the first time in the Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) on Saturday and Pavitra’s co-trainer Will Freedman can’t wait.
Having watched Prowess from afar, he was happy to see Pavitra score so dominantly last start, all too aware she would have to go up another cog again against the Kiwi three-year-old.
“To prove she is a top-level filly, she probably needed to do that (last start) because we’ve known about Prowess for the entirety of the autumn, we’ve seen what she’s been able to do,” Freedman said.
“New Zealand form can sometimes not be the strongest formline over here, but she is beating older horses at 2000-metres so she’s obviously got her fair share of talent.
“We’re going to have to be at our best. But so is Prowess.
“If Prowess is off her game she’s going to have a handful in Pavitra because she’s definitely got the talent.”
Pavitra’s big action and light frame identified her as a staying type early on and since claiming her maiden at start number three, she has continued to rise through the grades.
She was twice Group placed over the Vinery journey in the spring and was only collared late by class filly She’s Extreme over 2500m in the Oaks.
The Vinery is the first of two major targets for Pavitra, along with the ATC Australian Oaks (2400m) a fortnight from Saturday, and Freedman is hoping Pavitra can end the autumn carnival as the winner of at least one Group 1 race.
“Whether it happens in the Vinery of it happens in the Oaks, I’d be pretty disappointed if we didn’t walk away with one of them,” Freedman said.
Pavitra and Prowess dominate betting on the Vinery with the New Zealander a $2.50 favourite ahead of Pavitra at $3.10.
Two-time Group 1 winner Fireburn is on the third line of betting at $8 in what will be her first test beyond a mile.
The Vinery is likely to be Prowess’ only Sydney autumn carnival run with co-trainer Roger James confirming she is unlikely to press on to the Oaks win, lose or draw.
– RAS NewsWire