Gerald Ryan’s last start Light Fingers Stakes winner Perignon is one of the headline nominations taken for the Surround Stakes 2016 at Royal Randwick Racecourse in Sydney this Saturday.
The three-year-old Snitzel filly ran a brave third last October in the Group 1 Flight Stakes (1600m) beaten only a neck before resuming at Randwick to win the Group 2 Light Fingers Stakes (1200m) on February 13.
She backs up in the $175,000 Group 2 Surround Stakes (1400m) this weekend at the same track on Chipping Norton Stakes Day, the set weights clash attracting 16 three-year-old fillies at nomination stage on Monday.
Along with Perignon, Ryan has also nominated for the progressive Bubbleberry who comes off back-to-back seconds over 1250m at Canterbury this month.
The Statue Of Liberty filly is yet to be tested in black-type company, but has earned her shot this weekend in her maiden look at Randwick.
Last year’s Surround Stakes winner First Seal (2015) came off a second in the Light Fingers Stakes and went on to place second after her Group 2 win in both the Group 1 Coolmore Classic (1500m) and Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill Gardens.
John Thompson prepared Solicit (2015) for her Surround success 12 months ago and is in with a livewire hope at going back-to-back this weekend saddling-up Honesta first-up.
The Monaco Consul grey was second past the post four straight times during the spring including in the Group 1 Crown Oaks (2500m) at Flemington during November’s Melbourne Cup Carnival.
She returns to racing on the weekend after her maiden top three run first-up, her two previous Randwick runs producing second place efforts including in the Flight Stakes over the mile last October.
The highest-rated Surround Stakes nominee this year meanwhile is the David Hayes & Tom Dabernig-trained Stay With Me.
Winner of last October’s Group 1 Thousand Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield, the Street Cry filly returned in the Light Fingers Stakes running fifth and is tipped to improve stepping up to 1400m this weekend.
Some notable fillies that finished in the money in their lead-up runs include the Nick Olive-trained Gold Coast Magic Millions 3YO Guineas runner-up behind Mahuta Single Gaze and Cana for Team Hawkes who was third to Risque in the Group 3 Kevin Hayes Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield.
Other big name entries returning if accepted into the Surround Stakes field meanwhile include Crown Oaks third placegetter Ambience for John O’Shea, her undefeated stablemate Ghisoni and the Peter Moody-trained Pasadena Girl.
Savabeel three-year-old Pasadena Girl won the Group 1 Champagne Stakes (1600m) at Randwick last April and during the spring finished fourth three times on the trot including in the Thousand Guineas and Crown Oaks.
She races at Randwick for the first time in nearly a year this weekend, but was very good at the track as a two-year-old last autumn.
See below for the full Surround Stakes 2016 nominations, the final field and barriers out on Wednesday so stay tuned.
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2016 Surround Stakes Nominations
Randwick Racecourse – 27/02/2016
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Sex||Age||Trainer||Hcp. Rating|
|4||11×63||CANA||F||3||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||–|
|6||1||EURO ANGEL (NZ)||F||3||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||67|
|9||x42112222x||HONESTA||F||3||John P Thompson||95|
|10||175x105x||LET HER RIP (NZ)||F||3||Shaune Ritchie||–|
|11||141x25444x||PASADENA GIRL (NZ)||F||3||Peter G Moody||95|
|14||64×12||SHOTGUN ROULETTE||F||3||Wayne Wilkes||54|
|15||332098×402||SINGLE GAZE||F||3||Nick Olive||–|
|16||25x11616x5||STAY WITH ME||F||3||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||102|