Kiwi trainer Jamie Richards is banking on a dry Randwick track to help the chances of his smart filly Probabeel in the Group 1 $500,000 Surround Stakes (1400m) on Saturday.

Funstar, above, is the early favourite for the 2020 Surround Stakes at Randwick. Photo by Steve Hart.

Funstar, above, is the early favourite for the 2020 Surround Stakes at Randwick. Photo by Steve Hart.

Probabeel raced at Randwick during the 2019 Sydney Spring Carnival for a second in the Group 2 $200,000 Darley Tea Rose Stakes (1400m) and a second in the Group 1 $500,000 Darley Flight Stakes (1600m) and Richards thinks a wet track may have been a contributing factor to her defeat.

“She does appreciate the better tracks and it looks like the weather is going to play its part this week,” Richards told Sky Racing’s Racing HQ.

“It could be on a nice track which I think is important for her. He was very good in the Tea Rose on good ground but then caught wanting a bit on the wet ground in the Flight Stakes. Certainly a good track will help her cause. “

The Randwick track has been rated a soft 5 on Tuesday with a possible storm forecast for Wednesday while the rest of the week is expecting fairly good conditions.

Richards said that the early list of nominations for the Surround Stakes looks to have plenty of depth but he thinks his filly is a lot stronger than when she raced in Sydney in the Spring.

“The nominations have great depth to it,” Richards said.

“She was competitive here in the Spring but I think she needs to step up a bit again for the Autumn because the fields do get stronger and the quality gets a bit deeper.”

“She is in good shape. He trialed well and worked nicely again this morning and she is a stronger filly now than she was when she was here in the Spring.”

Probabeel has had two runs for two wins in New Zealand in January before crossing the Tasman to prepare for the 2020 Sydney Autumn Carnival.

The Savabeel filly resumed for a win in a 1400m Three Year Old Plate at Awapuni on January 4 followed by a win in the NZ$1m Karaka Million 3yo Classic (1600m) at Ellerslie on January 25.

Probabeel is well in contention in the betting at Ladbrokes.com.au for the Surround Stakes at $5 behind the Chris Waller trained Funstar at $3.20 and Light Fingers Stakes winner Flit at $3.60.

Early betting for the 2020 Surround Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au: $3.20 Funstar, $3.60 Flit, $5 Probabeel, $6.50 Lyre, $13 How Womantic, $15 Emeralds, $19 Xilong, $21 Subpoenaed, $26 Akari, Kiamichi, Missile Mantra, $31 Katalin, $34 Mrs Beckham, Southbank, $51 Acting, Aquitaine, Asiago, Betcha Flying, Bonvicini,  Chaillot, Enfleurage, Fascino, Heart Of The Oak, Nudge, Regimental Band, Saas Fee, $61 or better the rest.

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.