2019 Surround Stakes betting preview

A competitive field of fillies line-up over the 1400m at Group 1 level. Early Oaks favourite Nakeeta Jane comes up the early favourite at $5.50, can she win again this far from her grand final?

Jack Zuber
Wed, 27 Feb, 12:00 AM

Race Shape:

The rail moves out into the +6m position for the first time in over a month. On 29/12/2018 it played very well on a good surface. We’re expecting similar here but on a track with a fair amount of give. Ideally, you’d want to be in the running line peeling out into the centre of the track come the later races.

Seems a moderate speed with Sister Sledge (now getting a run as first emergency) taking it up. Fundamentalist with blinkers for the first time could sit very handy. Greysful Glamour (missed kick last start), Melt will be prominent from their wider draws with Madam Rouge sticking to successful tactics and booting up on their inside. Mizzy behind them with El Dorado Dreaming from 1 and Nakeeta Jane and Pohutukawa getting nice runs mid-field. Miss Fabulass and Fiesta have speed but they’ll likely go back from the widest draws along with Seabrook, Oohood and Zalatte.


The Key Runners:

1. El Dorado Dreaming (1) - $14*

J: B. Avdulla (56kg) T: K. Lees

Draws the inside marble again. She got a peach from Bowman as he extricated her off the inside on the turn to give her the entire straight to wind up. She did so but fell short by 1.6L on the line. Avdulla replaces Bowman here which is no loss. The extra 200m is a massive bonus as she’s a Group 1 winner as a 2yo at the track and distance. Soft going is a bit of an unknown, but she never takes long to come to hand and we’re getting a price to find out. An each-way player once again.  


3. Oohood (8) - $18*

J: T. Clark (56kg) T: T. McEvoy

She was a standout in the parade first-up who unfortunately didn’t perform up to her looks. Clark sticking from a tactical mid-draw is ideal, likewise soft ground and an extra 200m. She was 0.1L behind El Dorado Dreaming in the Sires’ Produce as a 2yo at this track and distance and won the Group 1 Flight Stakes at this track last preparation, defeating many of her key rivals here. Wouldn’t shock if she bobbed up, however, we’ll be more looking for a “back me next start over 1600m” run.  



4. Fiesta (15) - $5.50EF*

J: H. Bowman (56kg) T: C. Waller

She’s been there or thereabouts in this grade against similar opposition for almost the entirety of her career. On the back of two very nice trials, she won the Inglis Sprint first-up over 1100m on soft going at Warwick Farm courtesy of a 10 out of 10 steer from G Schofield. From barrier 15, she’ll likely settle right at the rear of the field and have to lap them all. That is a stiff task when stepping 1100m up to 1400m second-up. Have to oppose her on the win line on that basis.


7. Nakeeta Jane (6) - $5.50EF*

J: J. Parr (56kg) T: M. Newnham

Turned in an unbelievable performance first-up when winning the Light Fingers. She relished the strong tempo, pushed off the fence and proved too strong over the concluding stages. Being by So You Think both soft ground and further are huge ticks. She wasn’t near wound up first-up but looked magnificent in both her coat and walk, so she’ll only strip fitter too. Only possible queries are if they’ve backed off her en route to the Oaks or if she gets strung up on the fence. Have to keep her safe.


8. Miss Fabulass (16) - $10*

J: K. McEvoy (56kg) T: K. Lees

The regally bred filly was to be ridden further back last-start in the Light Fingers and that worked out just fine as she flopped out of the barriers to lob in the last pair on the fence. She got every opportunity to run on and never threatened. On closer inspection, she dipped a number of times in the straight and may have even switched legs a few times. He SP profile around plenty of these gallopers through the Flight, Tea Rose and Furious stakes must be respected. Expecting an improved performance up to 1400m with some cut in the ground. 



10. Madam Rouge (3) - $13*

J: B. Shinn (56kg) T: C. Waller

Has always threatened to win a good race and she almost stole the show when ridden more aggressively last start in the Light-Fingers. She started $7 in the Tea Rose against a very similar field last preparation and pulled up 2/5 lame when running second-last. Couple that forgive run with a sharp performance behind Pohutukawa over 1400m (soft 7) at Listed level on Melbourne Cup day and it’s easy to make a case that she should be shorter than $13. Expecting her to run a race from a forward position.


12. Pohutukawa (7) - $6.50*

J: J. McDonald (56kg) T: J. Cummings

It’s a genuine task to find a negative about this galloper here. Was a good thing beaten first-up in the Light Fingers when Prebble was bolting with nowhere to go, then sliced up the inside to record the best final 200m into 3rd. Stripping fitter second-up after two typically quiet trials, 1400m on a soft track look her absolute ideal conditions. Prebble to McDonald is a huge positive for a Cummings yard that’s on fire at present. She’s arguably the filly with the most scope here (along with the also lightly-raced Nakeeta Jane and Zalatte) and we’re expecting her to stamp herself as a good horse on Saturday.


14. Zalatte (4) - $13*

J: T. Berry (56kg) T: C. Waller

The unbeaten filly steps right up in grade here for her first test at Group level. The form through each of her three wins has been hot – runners up at her last two; Welsh Legend was unlucky on Wednesday at Rosehill when hard in the market and Baller won in style last Saturday. Both her trials this time in have been quieter, which is expected after only 9 weeks off. She maps to give all the more seasoned and match fit gallopers a start here first-up over 1400m which isn’t ideal. At $13 for her first go in this grade, we’ll have to take her on despite conceding she has a very bright future. If the $26 that was put up lasted more than 2.5 seconds, it would be a different story, however…



  1. Pohutukawa ($6.50*)
  2. Nakeeta Jane ($5.50EF*)
  3. Miss Fabulass ($10*)
  4. Madam Rouge ($13*)


Betting Plan:

Keen on Pohutukawa, getting something out of Nakeeta Jane–​​​​​should she prove to be something specialand saving on our other numbers:


*Prices correct at time of publishing


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