Mick Halford’s ultra-consistent Surrounding seeks more black type in Sunday’s Irish Stallion Farms EBF Brownstown Stakes at Fairyhouse.
The six-year-old has taken her form to a new level this season, winning a Listed race at Naas before being caught on the line in a very valuable handicap at the Curragh last time out.
She carries the highest official rating into the Group Three having been put up 6lb for her most recent defeat.
Halford told his website: “Surrounding has her first run in a Group Three. She is remarkably consistent and is now at a career high rating of 106, achieved in defeat in a handicap at the Derby weekend at the Curragh.
“On ratings it looks a good opportunity for her and she is a course-and-distance winner in the past. It is the Newell’s (owners) local track and it would be wonderful if she could win — she has been pleasing us in her work.”
Next best is Ed Walker’s British raider Indian Blessing, a Listed winner on her penultimate start but well beaten behind Move Swiftly in the Duke of Cambridge Stakes at Royal Ascot.
There is a strong British challenge as Hugo Palmer sends Heavenly Holly, the mount of Billy Lee, who would be a major player if she can return to the form of her Haydock run behind Commonwealth Cup runner-up Forever In Dreams.
David O’Meara also sends over Cheveley Park Stud’s Perfection, a creditable seventh in the Wokingham last time out.
Aidan O’Brien runs three, Fire Fly, Gossamer Wings and I Remember You, while Jack Davison’s Black Magic Woman arrives on a hat-trick following wins at Gowran and Fairyhouse.
O’Brien’s So Wonderful brings Royal Ascot form to the table in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden.
Second on debut to the smart Peace Charter, she was expected to get off the mark next time at Naas in a Group Three but was only fifth.
She was far from disgraced in the Albany Stakes and sets a clear standard, but Joseph O’Brien’s Unforgetable is entitled to take a step forward after a promising third on her introduction.
Helen Of Albany was a beaten favourite for Ger Lyons on her debut at Bellewstown, but with that under her belt, she can be expected to shape better in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden.