Four Moves Ahead to bounce back in the Surround Stakes

Her run was too bad to be true in the Group 2 Light Fingers Stakes ten days ago, and Randwick trainer John Sargent believes there were genuine excuses for the poor performance of his dual-Group 2 winner Four Moves Ahead.

After firing up from a wide barrier and racing keenly in front, the Snitzel filly faded late to finish 13th beaten over seven lengths. Jockey Nash Rawiller gave her an easy time of it over the final furlong, sitting up in the irons and not riding her through the line.

The three-year-old will be looking to bounce back against a similar field in the $500,000 Group 1 Surround Stakes at Royal Randwick this Saturday.

“We tried the blinkers on and it just didn’t work, so we’re taking them off,” Sargent said.

“Now the rain has arrived it should suit her and hopefully we can change it around.

“She loves the wet and she’s worked well this morning. Obviously she’ll have to improve to beat Espiona and Fangirl, but she’s come on from the run and I’m really happy with her.”

Sargent will also saddle up his lightly-raced filly Mayrose in the Midway Handicap, who showed she was back in good order with a fast-finishing win at Canterbury first-up. The Pride Of Dubai progeny came from well back in the field to just nab Vivid Flash late on the line.

“She’s taken a bit of time, she’s a big tall three-year-old,” Sargent said.

“It’s going to be rain affected and the big straight at Randwick should suit. She’s gone on since her win at Canterbury.”

Sargent has his well-related two-year-old filly Miss Faberge nominated for the $200,000 Group 2 Sweet Embrace Stakes, a race that Four Moves Ahead won last year. The daughter of Russian Revolution has had one start to date finishing seventh in the Pierro Plate, beaten a touch over two lengths.

“She’s a half to (Group 1 winners) Criterion and Comin’ Through, very well bred,” Sargent said.

“It’s the last foal of the mare (Mica’s Pride) for Sir Owen Glenn, and she was very unlucky in her first start.

“She’s worked very well and the breed doesn’t mind the cut out of the track. Nash Rawiller goes on board so we’ll get a Group 1 winning jockey.”

In-form Dissident gelding Outlandos will contest the Benchmark 88 Handicap over 2000m for Sargent, and boasts a two from two record when racing over the journey. After just finding one better on the Gold Coast, Outlandos proved too strong over 2400m at Randwick on February 12.

“He’s done well. He’s come back from the Magic Millions after running second, and then won with Hugh Bowman on board,” Sargent said.

“Hugh goes back on this Saturday and we drop back to 2000m from the 2400m, but I think with the rain about it will make it more like a 2400m race.

“I’m very happy with him, he’s a lovely staying horse that will probably go through to one of the Listed races over ground.”

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