Guy Walter’s Group 1 winning filly Streama is the top-rated entry for the Surround Stakes 2012, the Warwick Farm feature to run as the major support race on Chipping Norton Stakes Day this Saturday.
This year’s edition of the $175,000 Group 2 Surround Stakes (1400m) drew 15 nominations including Flight Stakes champion Streama.
A three-year-old daughter of Stratum Streama resumed after a four and a half month spell with a narrow second behind Sea Siren in the Group 2 Light Fingers Stakes (1200m) at Warwick Farm on February 18.
Before the break Streama hit the big time when she scored a massive six and a half length win over fellow Surround Stakes nominee Hallowell Belle in the Group 1 Coolmore Flight Stakes (1600m) during the spring at Randwick.
Streama is heading towards a start in the prestigious $2 million Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) back at Royal Randwick on April 21, and she is currently one of the top fancies in the early Doncaster odds at bookmaker.com.au paying $13.
The horse that beat Streama home first-up last start, Sea Siren also features among in the 2012 Surround Stakes nominations, as does Flight Stakes runner-up and Light Fingers Stakes third placegetter Hallowell Belle.
John O’Shea’s Fastnet Rock filly Sea Siren posted her third career win from just four starts when she held on in a gripping finish to take out the Light Fingers Stakes, which was her first Group race assignment.
O’Shea has also nominated his last-start Canterbury winner Colorado Claire, the up-and-coming Hussonet filly out for her fifth win from just six starts if accepted for the Surround.
Other notable chances among the early Surround Stakes entries include the Patinack Farm-owned Pane In The Glass out to improve on her distant 14th in the Light Fingers, Peter Snowden’s Group 2 winning Commands filly Altar and the fellow Snowden-trained Detours coming off a Rosehill win from last Saturday.
Meanwhile Peter Moody’s racing manager Jeff O’Connor admitted that they may not accept Cute Emily for the Surround Stakes despite her good last-start third behind Shopaholic in the Group 2 Angus Armanasco Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield.
“The fillies in Melbourne are outstanding but having said that she’d have to go up against Streama if she raced in the Surround,” O’Connor said.
Other options for Cute Emily include the $300,000 Group 2 Kewney Stakes (1400m) or the $150,000 Group 3 Schweppervescence Trophy (1600m) at Flemignton’s Australian Cup Day meeting on Saturday.
Another possible non-acceptor who will instead head to Flemington for the Kewney Stakes is the Liam Birchley-trained Jet Spur filly Emmalene.
The Brisbane visitor, winner of the Listed Gucci Stakes (1200m) during last year’s Melbourne Cup Carnival, ran a solid fifth when beaten three and a half lengths by Sea Siren in the Light Fingers Stakes last-start, a performance that indicated she was better suited to the roomier Flemington track.
“When you look at some of the really top horses that raced on that day, it gives you plenty of confidence to know she was matching it with them sectionally,” Birchley said of Emmalene in the Light Fingers where she ran a better final 600-metre sectional than Streama.
“I’m (just) not sure Warwick Farm really suits her style, whereas the big stretches of Flemingotn will suit and she has won there before.”
Fancy a bet on horse racing this weekend but don’t know where to go?
2012 Surround Stakes Nominations
Warwick Farm – 10/03/2012
|3||BLISS STREET||Daniel Morton||94|
|4||COLORADO CLAIRE||John O’Shea||76|
|5||CUTE EMILY||Peter G Moody||82|
|8||HALLOWELL BELLE||Gai Waterhouse||94|
|9||HAPPY HUSSY||David Payne||81|
|10||KNEELING||John P Thompson||81|
|11||PANE IN THE GLASS||John P Thompson||94|
|13||SEA SIREN||John O’Shea||100|
|14||SHE GOES TO RIO (NZ)||Anthony Cummings||76|