Race 2 at Hawkesbury (Australia A) on Wednesday night is a 1 5/16-mile handicap for three-year-olds and up going down a one-mile chute and around a right-handed turn.
The track designation is Good-4 so it should be favorable to most of the runners.
#5 LA GRISA is an improving mare who broke her maiden in her third pari-mutuel start. She improved each time when the distances grew longer and now stretches out farther. The daughter of stamina sire Reliable Man is out of a New Zealand-bred mare who was second in the Victorian Oaks (G1) at this distance and is a half-sister to two group stakes winners. La Grisa should relish the added distance and will have plenty of time to settle in the long run down the backstretch with Brent Avdulla (nine-for-50 lately) picking up the mount.
#3 DHIAGA has raced against this class level in his last two starts and did extremely well. Both starts came at 1 ¼ miles and he won two starts back on Good ground as the 2-1 favorite, with a pair of beaten rivals coming back to win since then. He missed by less than a length last out and his speed ratings dwarf the opposition. It took his connections a while to figure out that the gelded son of sprint sire More Than Ready wants to run long. Dhiaga carries the same weight as last start and adds Tom Sherry (10-for-50 lately.)
#4 DANCE AWAY looks to have a serious pace advantage over these and the longer distance should help. Last out, in his first try at longer distances, he took the lead in the homestretch only to be run down late. It might have been an indication that he does not want the distance or he lost focus on the lead. Today, Jason Collett (11-for-50 lately) should have him on a loose lead from post 4 and be the one to catch in the stretch. Daughter of Melbourne Cup (G1) winner Shocking is a half-sister to Karaka Million Stakes winner Hardline.
Dick Powell’s Pick:
La Grisa is improving with more racing and distance for John O’Shea and should continue her climb up the class ladder.