SURROUND STAKES | Palmerbet Blog

SURROUND STAKES 

The Surround Stakes is a Group 1 race for three-year-old fillies which takes place each February at Randwick Racecourse. Last season the race was won by the Richard & Michael Freedman trained Forbidden Love and ridden by Nash Rawiller.

This race was first run in 1979 and when classified as a Group 3 contest for three-year-old fillies over the 1400m at set weights at Warwick Farm. The race has been run at Randwick since 2016 and was elevated to Group 1 level in 2018.

The race is named after the 1976-77 Australian Champion Racehorse of the Year, Surround.

She was a grey filly trained at Caulfield by Geoff Murphy and she had a three-year-old season that has yet to be equaled or surpassed since.

She became the first and only three-year-old filly to win a W.S.Cox Plate then went on to win the Caulfield Guineas before stepping out to the V.R.C. Oaks Stakes distance and beating her stablemate Savoir. She came back the next Autumn and won the C.F.Orr Stakes, A.J.C. Oaks and Queensland Oaks.

The race has produced a strong list of Australia’s best fillies and the rise in Group 1 status was well deserved. Hosannah won in 2002, Gold Edition in 2007 before the bonny John Singleton owned filly More Joyous got the prize in 2010.

The Light Fingers Stakes over the 1200m at Randwick is the best form guide to finding the winner of the Surround. Nakeeta Jane managed to complete the double back in 2019 and that is the preferred race to contest prior to the Surround. There is a form indicator that also points to fillies coming from Victoria who have contested the C.S.Hayes Stakes, The Vanity or Typhoon Tracy who may bring the best form.

Last season’s winner Forbidden Love had gone north and disappointed in the Magic Millions Guineas on the Gold Coast before bouncing back for an impressive Surround Stakes win at double figure odds.

Although there is usually a standout filly for the season, Nakeeta Jane (2019) is the only favourite to have won in the last 5 seasons. It is going to be tough to go past the short priced favourite in Espiona this year.

 

BEST BET

ESPIONA

Loved the return of Espiona in the Light Fingers when she found the front a little too early and found one better late. She is sure to be better from that outing and if she can get through the heavy ground she should get away with this.

BEST VALUE

ZOUZARELLA

This filly caught the eye final stages in the Light Fingers. She had done it tough sitting wide without cover but was still beaten less than 2 lengths. She has a horror barrier draw but if Chad Schofield can find a spot in the early stages she will give this a shake.

LONGSHOT

NEVER BEEN KISSED

Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott has a nice filly in the form of Never Been Kissed. She started enormous odds when she won the Group 1 Flight Stakes here at only here fourth start. This a tough race for her to resume in but Gai has given her a couple of trials and must always respect the stable runners.