Surrounding has won her last two starts in taking fashion, so looks well worth an each-way wager on her first start in Group 2 company now stepped up to 1m for the Boomerang Stakes on Irish Champions Weekend day 1 at Leopardstown on Saturday (16:50).
This Mick Halford trained six-year-old mare has run a string of fine races this season, winning three of her last five outings. Surrounding has a career win and place ratio of 74 per cent from 23 runs.
After chasing home last year’s Boomerang Stakes heroine I Can Fly on the all-weather at Dundalk on her return to action, the daughter of Lilbourne Lad was a keeping on 1 1/2 lengths third to Imaging over course and distance.
Surrounding then scored a second career Listed victory when down in trip to 7f at Naas. She prevailed by a neck over Chessman and was then denied second in a similar grade affair again at this venue.
Although no match for the ready winner Flight Risk, who came out and won a Group 3 next time up, Surrounding ran a huge race in a Premier Handicap at The Curragh when next in action and unlucky not to win.
Seeking hat-trick in Boomerang Stakes
As she was giving Crafty Madam – who chinned her on the line – a whopping 22lb, it was a huge effort.
Surrounding has since taken the Group 3 Brownstown Stakes at Fairyhouse over 7f when staying on well in the final furlong and accounting for Perfection by a length.
The runner-up was just a neck behind last year’s 1000 Guineas heroine Billesdon Brook in a Group 3 at Goodwood next time up and has since landed a Listed sprint at Pontefract.
Surrounding then followed-up under a penalty at that level during the Galway Festival. She found plenty for pressure and kept on well to hold Titanium Sky by half-a-length.
As Surrounding was giving 11lb away to the four home behind her, it was a big effort.
She is well worth a crack at this level off the back of that gutsy effort. Surrounding has a very likeable attitude and the assessor may underestimate her with an official 105 rating.
Now seeking a hat-trick and with the extra furlong holding no fears, she is the freshest horse in the Boomerang Stakes off a break of 44 days. That makes Surrounding each-way value at 10/1 with Boylesports in this.
Lancaster House defends unbeaten record on Irish Champions Weekend day 1
Although Richard Fahey’s Space Traveller is the top rated in the nine-runner field, the pick of the four three-year-olds looks to be the undefeated Lancaster House.
One of three in the race for trainer Aidan O’Brien, who has won this a record six times, the Galileo colt is turned out quickly after completing his hat-trick in a Listed contest at the Listowel Harvest Festival earlier this week.
That should be no problem for Lancaster House as he quickly rattled up that three-timer after only making his racecourse debut the Galway Festival last month.
After bolting up by eight lengths in an extended mile maiden there, he followed-up at Tipperary.
Lancaster Horse won again under hands and heels with more authority than the 1 1/2 lengths margin of victory suggests. He was again an easy winner at Listowel, scoring by 2 3/4 lengths.
The Boomerang Stakes demands more, but the rapid progress Lancaster House has made cannot be ignored. He is the least exposed in this line-up and there’s plenty more to come from.
If Lancaster House continues the serious upward curve he’s on, then odds of 15/8 with BetVictor are well worth considering for the four-timer.
Rebel Tale better value than Mogul in Champions Juvenile
Elsewhere on Irish Champions Weekend day 1, there’s the 1m Group 2 Champions Juvenile Stakes (15:05) and Rebel Tale outran massive odds last time out.
Trained by Thurles handler Andrew Slattery, this Tale Of The Cat colt was second to Armory at this level.
Although always held by the impressive winner of the Futurity Stakes, he was short of room around the two marker and pressed the National Stakes contender.
It was a massive effort from Rebel Tale and he went down fighting by three-quarters of a length. As he reversed previous form with Justifier, that shows he’s making progress.
In relation to red-hot favourite Mogul, Rebel Tale is thus overpriced at 8/1 with Paddy Power in the Champions Juvenile Stakes.
Mogul did make a big impression when going one better and making all under mostly hands and heels in a Curragh maiden over this trip last time out.
He is a very short price of 4/9 with 888Sport to follow-up, however. Although representing mighty Ballydoyle handler O’Brien, a case can be made against those cramped odds.
Mogul was well-beaten on debut at Gowran Park when 5 1/2 lengths behind Geometrical. Rebel Tale finished a length in front of that one last time out, so – at several times the price – he looks value over the red-hot jolly.
Buckhurst also a bet on Irish Champions Weekend day 1
In the Group 3 over 1m 4f (15:40), Buckhurst can follow-up on two taking successes and land the hat-trick for trainer Joseph O’Brien and owner Lloyd Williams.
This three-year-old Australia colt has progressed throughout the season and has scored twice in four starts in this grade.
After winning a mile maiden here, he then found the Classic Trial too much too soon before chasing home Constantinople .
Buckhurst beat the re-opposing Blenheim Palace with more in hand the 1 1/2 lengths winning margin suggests in the International Stakes.
Although he meets the runner-up on 3lb worse terms, the way he asserted close home suggests he can confirm the form.
As Buckhurst then followed-up when holding Leo De Fury – another who re-opposes here – by a head in the Royal Whip, he knows how tough things out.
He meets the narrow second on the same terms, but the step up in trip should hold no fears.
At 5/2 with William Hill, Buckhurst looks well worth a wager for a third success en route to a potential end-of-season campaign aboard.
Leo De Fury has very little to find on him, meanwhile, but this Jessica Harrington trained colt must prove his stamina after failing to get the trip at Glorious Goodwood.
Mount Everest had some smart form as a juvenile but has been off the track since.
Trained by Aidan O’Brien, he was just beaten a short-head in the Group 2 Beresford Stakes by subsequent dual Group 1 winner Japan on his last start.
If able to defy a racecourse absence of 349 days and not needing the run, then Mount Everest could be the biggest danger to Buckhurst at 100/30 with Betfair under Ryan Moore.