The Group 1 Surround Stakes (1400m) will be held at Randwick on Saturday, February 29 and Bettingpro.com.au provides you with a comprehensive guide to the race.
Surround Stakes Final Field and Barrier Draw
The final field and barrier draw for the Surround Stakes:
1. FLIT James Cummings – Hugh Bowman (7) 56kg
2. LYRE Anthony Freedman – Kerrin McEvoy (2) 56kg
3. KIAMICHI James Cummings – Ms Rachel King (6) 56kg
4. FUNSTAR Chris Waller – James McDonald (14) 56kg
5. PROBABEEL (NZ) Jamie Richards – Opie Bosson (5) 56kg
6. MISSILE MANTRA Peter & Paul Snowden – Brenton Avdulla (1) 56kg
7. HOW WOMANTIC Ciaron Maher & David Eustace – Jye McNeil (13) 56kg
8. XILONG Tony & Calvin McEvoy – Glen Boss (12) 56kg
9. AKARI Brad Widdup – Christian Reith (11) 56kg
10. BETCHA FLYING Chris Waller – Jason Collett (10) 56kg
11. HEART OF THE OAK Gerald Ryan – Tim Clark (3) 56kg
12. EMERALDS John Sargent – Ben Melham (8) 56kg
13. SAAS FEE Gerald Ryan – Joshua Parr (9) 56kg
14. ASPECT RATIO John Sargent – Andrew Adkins (4) 56kg
Surround Stakes Odds
Funstar is the favourite in a competitive Surround Stakes market at BetEasy.
How Womantic $14
Missile Mantra $31
Betcha Flying $51
Heart Of The Oak $51
Saas Fee $51
Aspect Ratio $101
Surround Stakes Tips
Anthony Freedman’s filly, Lyre, is the one that can really improve second-up, and I think she can turn the tables on Flit.
She finished 5th at Flemington on debut and then rated poorly when winning at Sale second-up.
However, the Sale performance was full of merit as the leaders crawled early going 17 lengths slower than BM to the 600m, and Lyre had no right to run them down in the straight.
First-up next campaign she was 4th in the Quezette Stakes (1100m) going 2.4 lengths quicker than BM, and second-up she improved out of sight going 9.9 lengths quicker than BM when runner-up to William Thomas (1100m) at Caulfield.
Lyre posted her strongest first-up figure this time around, and with a dry track and expected second-up improvement, I think she’s the one to beat.
As well as Flit and Kiamichi, I think Chris Waller’s pair, Funstar and Betcha Flying, loom as dangers to Lyre. However, both will get back from their wide gates and they’ll need everything to go their way.
I think Funstar is probably the most progressive filly in this field and she’ll be winning more Group 1 races, but I’m not sure this will be one of them.
Lyre is drawn well in barrier 2 and I think she can hold a forward spot on this map instead of going back.
I’ve mapped her three pairs back and one of the fence, and if she can land in that spot, she’ll have the run of the race.
She’s shown she can improve significantly second-up, and a spike performance should make the difference between this even lot of fillies.
$6.50 looks her right price while I think Funstar ($3.60) and Flit ($3.80) are a bit short in the market.