A second-up appearance in 2014 for Guelph has been confirmed for Warwick Farm on Saturday after the final field for this weekend’s Group 2 Surround Stakes (1400m) outlined a talented list of 13, including the talented filly.
Arguably the top performer in Australian horse racing throughout 2013, Guelph (barrier 13) claimed seven wins from only 10 starts including the Group 1 ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m), Group 1 Champagne Stakes (1600m), Group 1 Flight Stakes (1600m) and Group 1 Thousand Guineas (1600m).
Having settled in perfect position rounding the final bend in the Group 2 Light Fingers Stakes (1200m) first-up on February 22nd, Guelph was unable to match the late pace of her competitors and finished a disappointing sixth.
Trainer Peter Snowden was not fazed by the less-than-convincing first-up performance, and is expecting more big things of the talented Exceed And Excel filly throughout 2014.
Also featuring in the final field for the 2014 Surround Stakes is Gai Waterhouse-trained Sweet Idea.
Having finished no worse than third in all ten racing starts to date, talented three-year-old Sweet Idea has quickly firmed as a frontrunner not only for the Surround Stakes, but also several major Autumn events, including the Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) on April 12th.
Sweet Idea has returned to the track in 2014 in peak condition, winning all three starts so far including the Gold Coast Magic Millions Guineas (1400m) and Light Fingers Stakes most recently.
Waterhouse has an understandably high opinion of the exciting Snitzel filly, and believes she is capable of continuing her perfect start to 2014 this weekend, despite drawing the relatively awkward barrier 12.
Despite only claiming two wins from eleven starts so far, Kris Lees-trained filly Thump (barrier 5) produced a particularly consistent 2013 spring which included wins in the Group 2 Shadow Stakes (1200m) and Group 3 Champagne Stakes (1200m).
While only managing seventh in the Light Fingers Stakes first-up on February 22nd, Lees has put the run down to lack of race fitness, and is expecting a far-more convincing display in the 2014 Surround Stakes.
Trainer Chris Waller is set to dominate the running of the Surround Stakes, having accepted positions for Champagne Cath (barrier 2), Chateau Lafaite (barrier 8), Made To Order (barrier 10) and Marmelo (barrier 7).
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2014 Surround Stakes Final Field and Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||411x2111x6||GUELPH||Peter Snowden||Kerrin McEvoy||13||56kg||111|
|2||2213x2x111||SWEET IDEA||Gai Waterhouse||Tommy Berry||12||56kg||104|
|3||260x1317x7||THUMP||Kris Lees||Jim Cassidy||5||56kg||92|
|4||2x376154x2||GYPSY DIAMOND||John O’Shea||Nash Rawiller||3||56kg||91|
|5||1311×4||REAL SURREAL||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||James McDonald||9||56kg||89|
|6||1x4631x13||CHAMPAGNE CATH||Chris Waller||Jay Ford||2||56kg||89|
|7||11124146×5||ARABIAN GOLD||David Vandyke||Josh Adams||4||56kg||88|
|8||87x03112x9||ZANBAGH||Guy Walter||Blake Shinn||11||56kg||85|
|9||161F2x||LUCIA VALENTINA (NZ)||Kris Lees||Hugh Bowman||6||56kg||80|
|10||1x211x||CHATEAU LAFAITE||Chris Waller||Glyn Schofield||8||56kg||79|
|11||21521x||MADE TO ORDER||Chris Waller||Joshua Parr||10||56kg||74|
|12||311x||MARMELO||Chris Waller||Jason Collett||7||56kg||72|
|13||119×3||METAPHORICAL||Peter G Moody||Brenton Avdulla||1||56kg||72|