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Surround Stakes preview

Sydney feature racing continues this week at Warwick Farm and it's the fillies which have taken the eye of shrewd NSW racing analyst Andrew Capelin, @farlad.

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Surround Stakes

This week I have had a look at the Surround Stakes a 1400 metre Group 2 race for 3yo Fillies, a traditional ATC Oaks lead up run at Warwick Farm. If you like what you read and want more details about my markets for Sydney and NSW Provincial racing I can be found on Twitter (AC Markets @farlad) or contacted by email andrew.capelin at gmail.com.

13 Fillies line up and the burning question is whether GUELPH can reassert her spring dominance or whether she has come back to the field. Warwick Farm is presently rated a slow 7 and there is more rain on the radar. I’m going to assume a slow 7 by race time. With no rain it is possible we could reach a Dead surface. Either way you won’t want to be stuck near the fence.

1. GUELPH (13) K McEvoy – P Snowden
The dominant filly of the Spring who was flat in the Light Fingers at Randwick (the 1200m lead up) after racing wide with no cover. She is unbeaten second up and at the distance. I am expecting a better showing on Saturday but the first up run was just too poor for me to dismiss quickly. The race map will turn out much the same and she will probably sit wide with no cover (not such a problem at the Warwick Farm 1400) and find herself getting to the best part of the track. Her only run on Slow was the Golden Slipper (beaten 3.4 len). Whilst I can’t knock her for that she is a big striding girl who needs to balance up and there must be some question about her on a genuinely wet track. I have priced her double her current quote of $2.70.

2. SWEET IDEA (12) T Berry - G Waterhouse
Foolproof filly who sat outside the lead in the Light Fingers and kicked away. I see her being handy again and she looks the winner again. The 1400 is no problem and Tommy will sit outside or just off the pace. He should control and drift to the centre of the track to find the best ground. Her closing speed figures were good last time and she won’t have to do as much early as she did over 1200. I have marked her shorter than the $3.60 available.

3. THUMP (5) J Cassidy – K Lees
Very disappointing in the lead up. She just couldn’t muster pace as usual. Although she likes Warwick Farm, she will be on the inside and the wet track and 1400 are big queries. I expect she will start longer than the $21 available now

4. GYPSY DIAMOND (3) N Rawiller – J O’Shea
A slashing first up run from a filly headed for the Oaks which has me being cautious with her second up. Her finishing burst last time will have her starting shorter than she should and she will be well back on the fence. On the plus side she should handle the going. I have marked her around her current quote $16

5. REAL SURREAL (9) J McDonald – Team Hawkes
Sprinting filly with a win over SWEET IDEA. A very good effort in the lead up and I feel she can only improve. The stable has been responsible for lots of whingeing bookmakers lately with every horse in the stable reportedly going “3 lengths better” than last year. If she improves that amount she will win. No wet form but her breeding screams “Swimmer”. She is a single figures chance and worth a bet at $12

6. CHAMPAGNE CATH (2) J Ford – C Waller
Good filly untried on worse than Dead ground. Races in the lead and will find the paint up front. Unfortunately for her she will be stuck there and that won’t be ideal. She has a good record but $17 is under the odds.

7. ARABIAN GOLD (4) J Adams – D Vandyke
Finished second to Guelph at this distance in the spring. I really liked her first up run when she hit the line as well as anything. She is unbeaten on wet tracks and at 1400 should settle a bit closer than last time. She comes home for the first time, another plus for her. Whilst the stable has been out of form and the rider is competent but unfashionable, that should ensure she starts over her true odds. Current quote $17.

8.ZANBAGH (11) B Shinn – G Walter
Ran second in VRC Oaks in the spring coming out of restricted races. Is aiming to go one better in ATC Oaks. She only got serious late in the lead up ( recorded fastest last 200 of race) and will be out the back again. She will handle the wet and be running on late but I don’t want to back her just yet.

9. LUCIA VALENTINA (6) H Bowman – K Lees
NZ filly who lands here with a good wrap on her. No trial and she will race midfield or worse and be running on. Has top local rider but I like to risk these NZ horses when they first come here unless the case is irresistible and here it is not.

10. CHATEAU LAFAITE (8) G Schofield – C Waller
Sister to Royal Descent who has made her own name with an impressive list of performances and SPs in restricted races. Aimed at the Oaks but she has a lot of upside here. I want to see her first but she really knew where the line was last preparation.

11. MADE TO ORDER (10) J Parr – C Waller
Commands filly who was performing well in restricted races last year. I think she will be outclassed here

12. MARMELO (7) J Collett – C Waller
The fourth Waller filly in the race but she has done everything asked of her including winning when sent to Melbourne in the spring. Untried in the ground and way up in class here.

13. METAPHORICAL (1) B Avdulla – P Moody
Speedy filly on her first trip north. I think the Sydney fillies are much stronger.

SUMMARY: A very good race with plenty of angles to take. I will stick with SWEET IDEA who will get a good run again and be suited by the sit and sprint style of the Warwick Farm 1400. I feel REAL SURREAL and ARABIAN GOLD might be over their true odds.

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