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Lipizzan is set to return at Rosehill on Saturday

Gary Portelli admits he has been caught unawares by a scheduling change but will continue with his plan to bring Lipizzan back at Rosehill.

The trainer had earmarked the Inglis 3YO Sprint for the promising filly when she came back into work, only to learn the race had been moved from December to February.

Instead of being held at Randwick, the Inglis Sprint and Inglis Classic will be held at a revamped Warwick Farm on February 10.

“We were too deep into our preparation to put her out again so here we are,” Portelli said.

The 1200m-sprint is still on Lipizzan’s radar but the initial goal is to produce a satisfactory run in Saturday’s Benchmark 74 Handicap over the same distance.

Portelli welcomed forecast rain with Lipizzan’s two career wins achieved on soft or heavy tracks.

Lipizzan last raced in July at the end of a preparation that featured a second in the Listed Woodlands Stakes in Scone.

“We brought her back this time of year when it’s a little bit easier and because we thought the Inglis race was going to be there,” Portelli said.

“We missed the spring carnival because we didn’t think she’d physically come on enough to go against the good three-year-old fillies.”

Portelli is also keen to see how two-year-old Perfect Pitch, a half sister to Lipizzan, fares when she begins her racing career at Canterbury on Wednesday.

“She’s a beautiful filly. Whether it’s her two-year-old prep or her three-year-old prep, she’s just got class about her,” Portelli said.

“She gives you the indication that she’ll get a bit of ground later on too as the Pierros seem to be doing.”

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