Surround Stakes Tips & Preview 2024

Learning To Fly

Looking for Surround Stakes tips and best bets? We dissect times and form to find the winner of the 2024 Surround Stakes at Flemington.


The fillies get their shot at Group 1 glory in the Surround Stakes and it is the Anabel Neasham-trained Learning To Fly that is the $3.30 favourite in early markets with Dabble, ahead of the horse that just edged her out in the recent Light Fingers Stakes (1200m), Kimochi, at $6.50. Tiz Invincible is also at the $6.50 quote.

The promising Team Hawkes galloper, Makarena, is a $7 shot, while the 2023 Flight Stakes (1600m) winner, Tropical Squall, is another under double figures at the $7.50. There are 13 contenders in the $750,000 race and Roll On High is next in line at $13, while Stefi Magnetica heads the rest at the $16.


Learning To Fly resumed in the Light Fingers Stakes and settled back in the field of 11. She shuffled across heels at the top of the straight and producing the fastest 400m-200m split before just peaking late. Kimochi had a bit of a kick in the final 50m and that pair enjoyed a gap of nearly two lengths to the 3rd placegetter, Kristilli.

Kimochi went seven lengths faster than standard, which is just below her career best that was set over the 1600m at Randwick when runner-up in the Flight Stakes in the spring. Learning To Fly was fresh off a long spell after losing the rider when starting as a $6.50 chance in last year’s Golden Slipper (1200m).

Eight of the 13 runners had their most recent start in the Light Fingers Stakes. StefI Magnetica was 4th, while Tiz Invincible was 6th. The latter claimed the Furious Stakes (1200m) at this stage of her last preparation before scoring at the track and trip in the Tea Rose Stakes (1400m). Some hope goes to Arctic Glamour, who produced the fastest last 200m in the Light Fingers, while Autumn Ballet and Kind Words will need to improve on what they dished up.

Makarena might have some scope to feature in the finish and was runner-up behind Caballus in the recent Eskimo Prince Stakes (1200m) when resuming. She went 4.4 lengths faster than standard in that race and was a five length improver when stepping up from a 1250m Maiden win at Canterbury at her last preparation to a win in the $500,000 Tapp-Craig (1400m).

Monior betting for Tropical Squall and Zardozi. Both are likely to need further but Tropical Squall can’t be discounted after claiming victory in the Flight Stakes last year. She comes in with a couple of trials under the belt and might give them something to chase. Zardozi came into her own last spring when getting up to 1600m and beyond, taking out the Kennedy Oaks (2500m) at Flemington before spelling.

Roll On High is an interesting runner and might be a bit untapped. She went from a Pakenham Maiden win before taking out the Desirable Stakes (1400m) at Flemington last spring ahead of the likes of Joliestar and Kimochi. She rattled home from last in the field, going 33.4 over the last 600m to go 8.1 lengths faster than standard. Tutta La Vita is the other in the field and may need further.


Keen on Learning To Fly in the Surround Stakes. We couldn’t really have asked for much more from the daughter of Justify at her first run back from a spell with only a very slow early tempo counting against her in the fine margin behind Kimochi. She was unbeaten in her first three starts before the mis-hap in the Slipper and that might have been a blessing in disguise as she looks to have matured into an excellent three-year-old. Improvement to come at her second run back from a spell and from barrier 6, she gets her chance to re-join the winners list.


The team at are offering $2 for Learning To Fly to run a place in the Surround Stakes.