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As they did in the Light Fingers Stakes last fortnight, Guelph and Sweet Idea dominate the market for this weekend’s G2 Surround Stakes at Warwick Farm. Sweet Idea registered her third straight win in the Light Fingers whilst Guelph was unable to secure a place however, the market for Saturday’s feature still rates Guelph on top at $2.80 – out from $2.60. Sweet Idea, the only other runner under double figure odds, is solid at $3.60.

Surround Stakes Form Guide


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1. GUELPH – K McEvoy (13)

From a wide draw, she was posted thee deep throughout in the Light Fingers Stakes and settled in much closer to the speed than anticipated. Despite not much going right in the run, it was a surprise to see her under pressure soon after straightening and struggle into sixth spot, 3.2 lengths behind Sweet Idea. A champion filly who is capable of bouncing back but she has drawn the widest gate here and will be giving them all a start, meaning she’ll have to be at her very best to run them down.

Odds: $2.90


2. SWEET IDEA – T Berry (12)

Ten starts into her career and she is still yet to run a bad race. The Snitzel filly made it three from three this preparation with a typically strong ¾ length win in the Light Fingers Stakes last fortnight. She’ll shoot over from a wide gate to take up a forward position. This is only her second go at seven furlongs. Her first resulted in a good win (from a wide gate) in the Magic Millions Guineas earlier in the year and she’ll be in the thick of things again.

Odds: $3.40


3. THUMP – J Cassidy (5)

It was a surprise to see this daughter of Red Ransom not take up a more prominent position from her good draw in the Light Finger Stakes, her first run back from a twelve week spell. She settled three back on the fence, had limited room to work with in the run home and finished seventh (3.4 lengths) behind Sweet Idea. Drawn well again here and should settled in the first four or five. Her two starts at this track have resulted in a second in the G3 Sweet Embrace and victory in the G2 Silver Shadow, where she defeated Sweet Idea. Expect a better effort here at a good price.

Odds: $19.00


4. GYPSY DIAMOND – N Rawiller (3)

The G2 Fillies Classic winner (1600m) from last spring who went on to run fourth in the VRC Oaks, produced an eye-catching finish first up in the Light Fingers Stakes a fortnight ago. John O’Shea’s Not A Single Doubt Filly settled in the last quarter of the field, three wide with cover before peeling to the centre of the track upon straightening and finishing hard to run second to Sweet Idea. Will get back again but may have to work harder for the room she’ll need to wind up in this race from an inside draw.

Odds: $16.00


5. REAL SURREAL – J McDonald (9)

The 2013 Magic Millions winner returned to racing off a year’s break with a very good fourth (1 ¼ lengths) to Sweet Idea in the Light Fingers Stakes. The daughter of Real Saga settled in a handy position and stuck on well in the run to the line. She can only be better for having had that hit-out and was close enough to Sweet Idea first up to be considered a good hope here.

Odds: $10.00



Chris Waller’s galloper won a BM 80 (F&M’s) over 1200m first up of a fifteen week spell back in January and backed that up a month later in the G2 Light Fingers Stakes. She jumped well and as she usually does, took up the running with eventual winner Sweet Idea sitting alongside of her. She fought hard in the run to the line but was unable to match Sweet Idea in the end, running third (1.2 lengths). She’ll lead again from gate two and the Warwick Farm track should suit. Capable of filling a place again.

Odds: $17.00


7. ARABIAN GOLD – J Adams (4)

Pushed her way into the clear leaving the 300m mark in the Light Fingers Stakes, balanced up and was hitting the line as good as any other runner in finishing fifth (1.4 lengths) behind Sweet Idea. She is two from two second up and being unbeaten in three starts on slow and heavy tracks, may have favourable conditions for this Saturday given the weather in Sydney this week. Hard to see her not being competitive again.

Odds: $17.00


8. ZANBAGH – B Shinn (11)

Promising Bernadini filly from Guy Walter’s yard who quickly progressed through her spring campaign which culminated in her running a head second to Kirramosa in the VRC Oaks. She wasn’t asked to do a great deal from the back of the field first up in the Light Fingers but regardless, was working home in good style finishing ninth. The step up to 1400m suits and she’s not to be underestimated.

Odds: $26.00


9. LUCIA VALENTINA – J Bowman (6)

A New Zealand galloper the daughter of Savabeel is now under the care of Newcastle trainer, Kris Lees. She has won two races including the G3 Wellington Stakes (1600m) and ran second in the G2 Royal Sovereign Stakes (2000m) on New Years Day, her most recent start, from her five starts in New Zealand. Likely to get back in the run here and possibly looking for longer.

Odds: $21.00


10. CHATEAU LAFAITE – G Schofield (8)

The well bred Redoute’s Choice filly made it three wins from four starts by rounding out her last preparation with a head win in a BM 75 (1400m) at Rosehill. That run came on boxing day and she’s been given two trials since so would expect that’ll she’ll be forward in condition. This is clearly her strongest test to date and likely to find a few too good.

Odds: $1.00


11. MADE TO ORDER – J Parr (10)

The half sister to G1 winner Apercu recorded her second win from five starts on Boxing Day with a neck win over Nightingales in a BM 70 (1800m). She’s had two barrier trials in the past month to keep her fitness levels up but likely to find this class and this distance too sharp.

Odds: $67.00


12. MARMELO – J Collett (7)

After winning her second start, a Kensington Maiden (1400m), the Chris Waller trained daughter of Duke Of Marmalade did a good job to travel to Flemington and win a RST 70 (1700m) by a length over Savannah Moon. Has plenty of potential and will continue to improve however is starting in the deep end of the pool first up here.

Odds: $61.00


13. METAPHORICAL – B Avdulla (1)

After winning her first two starts for trainer Peter Moody, a Cranbourne Maiden and a BM 64 at Bendigo, the Dylan Thomas filly took on top class company in the G2 Edward Manifold Stakes. She weakened from a forward position in the run home to finish ninth, 3 ½ lengths behind Se Sauver. She was spelled and returned with a good third place (2.6 lengths) behind in-form stable-mate Spirits Dance in the G2 Angus Armanasco Stakes (1400m), closing well in a race dominated by the leader. Fitter again and will likely look to take up a handier position from the inside draw.

Odds: $31.00


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Sweet Idea and Champagne Cath, as they did in the Light Fingers, should show the way with Thump, Real Surreal and Metaphorical all handy. Guelph has eased slightly in betting (2.60 – 2.80) and may continue to do so given that she jumps from the widest gate and could quite possibly, be facing a wet track. Sweet Idea will go forward, an advantage here over the 1400m journey and may be the better value. Expect an improved run from Thump on a track she performs well at and from a good draw. Arabian Gold who will want to see the rain continue to fall in Sydney, is the next selection.

  2. THUMP
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