A new Group One race on the Australian calendar may have come at an opportune time for Lindsay Park filly Rimraam.
The Surround Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on Saturday, has been elevated to Group One level this year after carrying Group Two status since 1986.
The honour roll includes Avon Angel, Glenview, Skating, Dashing Eagle, Staging, Hosannah, More Joyous and last year La Bella Diosa.
The beaten brigade includes Winx who had her colours lowered when fifth behind First Seal in 2015.
Rimraam enters Saturday’s race off a first-up win in The Vanity at Flemington on February 17, courtesy of a rails hugging ride from Damien Oliver.
Lindsay Park co-trainer Tom Dabernig said following that victory the decision was made to head to Sydney for a tilt at the autumn carnival.
He said the stable then hopes to stretch the filly to the 2000m of The Vinery Stud Stakes at Rosehill on March 31.
“This race comes around at the right time being Group One, against her own age and sex,” Dabernig said.
“She won well first-up and that was encouraging and we thought she would be worth having a crack at a Group One.
“There’s The Vinery that we’re working towards if she’s going well and her win first-up gave us a bit of encouragement.
“This looks a good option.”
With Oliver in Melbourne for the Australian Guineas meeting, Kerrin McEvoy rides Rimraam.
Dabernig said Lindsay Park preferred keeping Rimraam to her own sex rather than tackling the Group One Australian Guineas, although he conceded the 1600m would have been ideal.
He said if Rimraam performed up to expectations she would remain in Sydney ahead of The Vinery and likely head to the Kembla Grange Classic (1600m) on March 16 as a lead-up.
Bookmakers don’t seem to rate the first-up victory of Rimraam and have her listed as a $19 chance with Godolphin filly Alizee the $2.15 favourite ahead of Shumookh at $4.20.