John O’Shea’s undefeated filly Ghisoni has opened clear favourite to defend her unbeaten title when she steps up in class for Saturday’s Surround Stakes 2016 at Randwick Racecourse.
There are 10 three-year-old fillies engaged to face off in the fifth on the Chipping Norton Stakes Day card in Sydney this weekend, the $175,000 Group 2 Coolmore Surround Stakes (1400m) due to jump at 3:05pm (local).
Of those in the mix the favourite in early Surround Stakes betting at Ladbrokes.com.au paying a firming $2.40 for the win is the Godolphin-raced daughter of Lonhro Ghisoni.
She won on debut at Warwick Farm over 1200m on November 11 before returning a fortnight later to Rosehill for another easy win over the distance.
Ghisoni has won a subsequent Randwick trial over 1050m against the boys ahead of her maiden black-type assignment on Saturday where jockey James McDonald has the mount from a gun barrier two draw.
There are currently only two other fillies under double figures in the Surround Stakes odds, the race a traditional lead-up to the $600,000 Group 1 Coolmore Classic (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 12.
Second favourite at a quote of $3.20 is Gerald Ryan’s last start Group 2 Light Fingers Stakes (1200m) winner Perignon.
The Snitzel filly ran third in the Group 1 Flight Stakes (1600m) last October before her first-up win on February 13 where she had a neck to spare in her first win since December of 2014.
Last year’s Surround Stakes winner First Seal (2015) came off a Light Fingers Stakes second and ran second again after her Group 2 win in the Coolmore Classic.
Third pick in betting is then Stay With Me ($4.50) jumping from barrier four with Kerrin McEvoy retaining the ride on the David Hayes & Tom Dabernig-trained Group 1 Thousand Guineas (1600m) winner from the spring.
The Street Cry filly ran fifth first-up in the Light Fingers Stakes with McEvoy aboard and should improve with the weekend’s extra metres as she searches for her first top three run at the track at her third Randwick start.
The rails run in the Surround Stakes this Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival belongs to the Kerry Parker-trained Heartlings ($10) from Kembla Grange, the daughter of Pendragon coming off a February 10 win over the distance at Warwick Farm in non-black type company.
At a more generous quote of $19 is the returning Honesta for last year’s winning trainer John Thompson.
The Monaco Consul grey ran second four times on the trot during the spring including in the Flight Stakes and Flemington’s Group 1 Crown Oaks (2500m) last start on November 5.
She has trialled twice in Sydney since running third both times and has run second in both her Randwick assignments so far making her a good value roughie in barrier nine with Tye Angland booked for the ride.
Other notable Surround Stakes hopes include Nick Olive’s Canberra visitor Single Gaze last seen running second to Mahuta in the Gold Coast Magic Millions 3YO Guineas and O’Shea’s other runner Ambience first-up after her Crown Oaks third last time in – the fillies drawn in barriers seven and eight respectively.
See below for the full Surround Stakes 2016 field, barriers, jockeys and latest Fixed Win odds provided by our preferred online sportsbook Ladbrokes.com.au!