Surrounding Faces 13 Rivals In Dundalk Stadium FTQ!

Fast Track Qualifiers

31 October 2019

Ireland's All-Weather track Dundalk hosts its only Fast-Track Qualifier of the 2019/20 All-Weather Championships Friday, November 1.

The €60,000 Listed Al Basti Equiworld Irish EBF Cooley Fillies Stakes (7.45pm, 14 runners), run over a mile, is a Fast-Track Qualifier for the first time and provides the winner with a guaranteed start in the £150,000 Ladbrokes Fillies & Mares' Championship at Lingfield Park on All-Weather Championships Finals Day, Good Friday, April 10, 2020.

Talented filly Surrounding won the Al Basti Equiworld Irish EBF Cooley Fillies Stakes decisively 12 months ago and the Mick Halford-trained filly has progressed again on turf in 2019. 

The hardy six-year-old has landed a further three stakes races, most notably the seven-furlong G3 Brownstown Stakes at Fairyhouse in July. She also captured Listed events at Naas in May and the Galway Festival in August.

Surrounding, who shoulders a 5lb penalty for her Fairyhouse success, was not disgraced on her latest start when fifth, beaten just over three lengths, in the G2 Boomerang Mile at Leopardstown on Irish Champions Weekend, September 14. 

Halford said: "Surrounding has been an absolute star for us this season. She did her final bit of work on Tuesday morning and I was very happy with her. 

"She loves Dundalk and has done nothing but improve all year and while she has to give weight to all her rivals, she is so reliable, that I am sure that she will run a big race. 

"She has been a wonderful servant and it would be a great way to finish off the season by winning again on Friday."

Joseph O'Brien has five runners in opposition, including G3 runner-up Snapraeceps (Declan McDonogh) and Dancing On A Dream (Mark Gallagher). The Peter Savill-owned Dancing On A Dream looked a much improved filly when switched to the All-Weather on her latest start, taking a seven-furlong handicap at Dundalk by three lengths on October 11.

O'Brien's runners also include Cnoc An Oir (Shane Crosse) and Jumellea (Trevor Whelan), who both ran well in Listed contests last time out, as well as recent Dundalk handicap runner-up Crotchet (Gary Halpin).

Joseph's father Aidan O'Brien is represented by Galileo fillies Chablis (Rory Cleary) and Frosty (Killian Hennessy). Chablis has been highly tried this year, with the pick of her efforts coming when fourth in the G3 Munster Oaks at Cork in June, while Frosty took sixth in a Listed race at Naas last time out.

Khalid Abdullah's representative Kaftan (Ger Lyons/Colin Keane) shaped with promise on her return from a break when fifth behind She's A Babe (Aidan Fogarty/Andrew Slattery) in a seven-furlong handicap at Dundalk on October 4. 

G3 Diamond Stakes sixth Harriet's Force (Keith Clarke/Robbie Colgan) also runs, as does Come September (Gavin Cromwell/Gary Carroll), who turns out quickly after finishing fifth in a seven-furlong Listed race at Leopardstown on October 26.

The 14 runners are completed by Titanium Sky (Dermot Weld/Oisin Orr), who finished second behind Surrounding in a Listed race at Galway, and course scorer Festina Plente (Johnny Murtagh/Niall McCullagh).

Dundalk's eight-race card starts at 5.15pm and ends at 8.45pm. Click Here for more information.

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