Fiesta (c) goes to the Group One Surround Stakes after a confidence-boosting win at Warwick Farm.
Fiesta has already begun her campaign with a confidence-boosting win and her trainer is hoping she can transfer her form to the highest level in the Surround Stakes.
The filly won the $1 million Inglis Sprint (1100m) at Warwick Farm on February 16 and steps up to 1400m in Saturday’s Group One Surround.
Chris Waller decided to tune her up with a race day gallop on Saturday and Kerrin McEvoy rode her over 1000m at Rosehill.
“We decided to give her a gallop on her home track because it would have been three weeks between runs to the Surround,” Waller said.
The filly has racked up three wins from her 12 starts and a frustrating seven minor placings including seconds in the Furious Stakes, Tea Rose Stake and the Group One Flight Stakes in which she was beaten a half head by Oohood.
The Tony McEvoy-trained Oohood had an even more frustrating run of three Group One seconds before she broke her maiden in the Flight.
Oohood was unplaced on her return in the Light Fingers Stakes last Saturday week but is expected to line up in the Surround.
Fiesta will be one of several runners for the Waller stable in the race which was elevated to Group One level last year.
“We will be well represented in the race,” Waller said.
“Verry Elleegant will be among the nominations but she may run in the Australian Guineas at Flemington,” Waller said.
“We will also have Melt, Welsh Legend, Madam Rouge and Zalatte. It’s the race we started Unforgotten off in last year on her way to winning the Oaks.”
Fiesta may not stretch to the 2400 metres of the Oaks but she has been entered for the big shorter-course races during The Championships including the Queen Of The Turf (1600m) and the Doncaster Mile.
Verry Eleegant began her career in New Zealand with trainer Nick Bishara who retained an interest when she was bought by clients of Darren Weir.
She had four starts for Weir with her best result a win in the Group Three Ethereal Stakes (2000m).
With Weir now disqualified for possessing jiggers, Verry Elleegant has been transferred to Waller and in her first start for the stable finished second to Amphitrite in The Vanity (1400m).