Trainer Kris Lees admits he will have to reassess carnival plans for Thump after the filly’s surprise Group Two win in the Surround Stakes at Warwick Farm in which the favourites faltered.
Lees said he was surprised how well she handled the step up to 1400 metres, paying credit to jockey Jim Cassidy who recommended Thump wear blinkers after a disappointing effort in the Light Fingers Stakes two weeks ago.
The Newcastle trainer also said he was still learning about Thump who was trained early in her career by John Thompson for Patinack Farm.
“After that performance we will have to consider the Coolmore Classic now,” Lees said.
“I was a bit disappointed after the Light Fingers but Jimmy recommended we put blinkers on and she would get 1400 metres.”
Cassidy had Thump ($26) tracking Light Fingers winner Sweet Idea ($3.20) early in the race.
Sweet Idea gave up the lead to Champagne Cath ($26) who took the field into the straight before being overwhelmed.
Thump was still travelling kindly and surged to the front to beat Real Surreal ($6.50) by a neck with former New Zealander Lucia Valentina ($51), a new acquisition for Lees, another length third.
Sweet Idea weakened to finish seventh just in front of $2.60 favourite Guelph, the star filly of 2013 who made little impression on the race.
“Who said she couldn’t run seven furlongs,” Cassidy said.
“She was disappointing at Randwick and showed no speed but the blinkers made her concentrate.
“She’s beaten the best fillies we’ve got in Sydney so that says something.”
Earlier in the day, the Lees-trained Sharni Rose finished second to Catkins in the Group Three Wiggle Stakes (1400m) to also put herself in the frame for the Group One Coolmore Classic (1500m) at Rosehill in two weeks.
The Group One fillies and mares race is also the target for last year’s Magic Millions Classic winner Real Surreal who has pleased the Hawkes stable with her two runs back from a lengthy spell.
Co-trainer Michael Hawkes said Singapore-based Corey Brown would ride the three-year-old.
Lucia Valentina is being aimed at the ATC Oaks (2400m) and pleased Lees with her first start for the stable.