Trainer Chris Waller is hoping the magic of Hugh Bowman will get plenty of use on the widely drawn Fiesta in the 2019 Group 1 $500,000 Surround Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on Saturday.
Fiesta draw barrier fifteen in the original draw of fourteen plus two emergencies but could move into gate thirteen of fourteen at final scratching time on Saturday morning.
Waller is a little bit concerned with the wide gate but added that if Bowman can find some cover on Fiesta before the first turn out of the 1400m chute, the filly should be able to be right in the finish.
“Unfortunately the draw is not in her favour but the 1400m start at Randwick is reasonably fair and as long as she gets some cover, she will be ready to pounce in the straight,” Waller said.
Fiesta was beaten a nose by Oohood when second in the Group 1 $500,000 Darley Flight Stakes (1600m) at Randwick during the 2018 Sydney Spring Carnival and resumed from a spell to score a tough first up win in the $1m Inglis Sprint – 3yos (1100m) at Warwick Farm on February 9.
Waller said that Fiesta has pulled up well after her first up win and will be suited by the 1400m of the Surround Stakes at her second run back.
“She has trained on very well since her first up win, she had sufficient time to get over the run and prepare properly for a 1400m race second up,” Waller said.”
Waller will saddle up four runners in the Surround Stakes and Fiesta will be joined by her stablemates Melt (Glyn Schofield, barrier 14), Madam Rouge (Blake Shinn, 3) and Zalatte (Tommy Berry, 4).
Fiesta is currently sharing Surround Stakes favouritism at $5 with the James Cummings trained Pohutukawa at Ladbrokes.com.au just ahead Mark Newnham’s Nakeeta Jane at $5.50 while Waller’s other runners are at double figure odds, Zalatte and Madam Rouge at $13 and Melt at $26.
Pohutukawa will most likely jump from gate six with James McDonald taking over from Brett Prebble who rode he Medaglio D’Oro filly first up when third at double figure odds behind Nakeeta Jane and Madam Rouge in the Group 2 $200,000 Light Fingers Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on February 16.