A tough and consistent mare, Surrounding made her breakthrough at Group 3 level when landing the Brownstown Stakes for Michael Halford, Ronan Whelan, and the Newell family at Fairyhouse yesterday.
The six-year-old hit the front approaching the furlong-pole and ran on for Whelan to beat British raiders Perfection and Indian Blessing emphatically.
“She’s a filly on the up and I’d say she had a bit left in the tank,” Whelan said. “She’s been a model of consistency and only does what she has to do. I probably got there a bit soon.
"And I think she’d be even better in a better race – they’d go faster and take her into the race a bit easier.”
Whelan completed a Sunday double when partnering Lyrical Attraction to victory for Jarlath Fahey in the Making Dreams Come True 3-Y-0 Handicap, proving three and a half lengths superior to favourite Laura Bullion.
Fahey’s brother Peter was on the mark in the finale, the Summer Evening Racing 17th July Handicap when Eadbhard bolted-up under Oisin Orr.
The Elzaam gelding, in the colours of the ‘Winter Is Coming Partnership’, stormed clear to slam Universal Focus by six and a half lengths to triumph for the first time since joining Fahey.
The Aidan O’Brien-trained favourite So Wonderful carried group-race form into the opening two-year-old fillies’ maiden but, having stumbled and almost unseated Donnacha leaving the stalls, she could manage only third place behind the impressive Unforgetable, trained by Joseph O’Brien and ridden by champion apprentice Shane Crosse.
“She’s nice and you’d have to like her,” stated Crosse. “Ours usually take a big jump from first to second run and, hopefully, there’s plenty more t come from this filly.
"She was only half-speeding from a furlong and a half down and pricking her ears.
“She has plenty of speed, but I’d say she’ll stay seven furlongs in time.”
Two other in-form apprentices, first cousins Andy Slattery and Ben Coen were also among the winners.
Slattery brought Dot Love’s consistent performer Hidden Spark, from off the pace, and from a high draw, to land a division of the seven-furlong Boyne Valley Racing Weekend Handicap, the Tipperary teenager’s 18th win of the campaign.
Earlier, Coen delivered on three-year-old filly Mid Winster for his uncle, Slattery’s father and namesake, in the six-furlong Discover Boyne Valley Handicap, drawing clear to beat That’s No Me by three and three-quarter lengths.
A return to form for Mid Winster as she decisively lands the 6f handicap @Fairyhouse for Andy Slattery and Ben Coen.— Horse Racing Ireland (@HRIRacing) July 14, 2019
“She’s a black-type filly, but we’ll see what the handicapper does first,” said Brian Slattery, whose trainer-brother was recording his third win in as many days.
In Sligo, two trainers who enjoyed success over in Perth, Gavin Cromwell and Gordon Elliott, were on the mark.
Cromwell who doubled-up with Top Of The Charts and Callthebarman at the Scottish venue, won here with Lucky Road, ridden by 7lb claimer Conor McNamara, in the RSS Documents Handicap Hurdle.
And Elliott, whose Borice justified long odds-on favouritism in the Perth opener, took the bumper here with newcomer Last Golden Ticket, ridden by Jamie Codd, who admitted: “He was greener than I expected. But he has been showing plenty at home and should improve enough to go for a winners bumper.”
Mark Enright, who returned to action with a winner in Cork on Friday, after a 13-week absence caused by a shoulder injury sustained at Fairyhouse at Easter, made it two wins from three rides since his comeback when winning the Clayton Hotel Handicap Hurdle on Brian Cawley’s Trendsetter.
The featured Kevin Egan Cars Opportunity Handicap Hurdle went to Mandarin Monarch, ridden for Andy McNamara by Dillon Maxwell, to record his sixth career success, at the expense of favourite Room To Roam.
And the father and son combination of Martin and Conor Brassil struck with 25/1 shot Don Patricio, which made all, in the opening Taylor Construction & Civil Works Maiden Hurdle.