Brisbane-based jockey Damian Browne will partner Earthquake in the Group 3 Blue Diamond Prelude (1100m) at Caulfield on Saturday after regular jockey Kerrin McEvoy opted to stand himself down from the ride due to a knee injury.
McEvoy partnered Earthquake during a blistering piece of trackwork at Flemington and rode champion filly Guelph and her half-brother Ghibellines in barrier trials at Rosehill Gardens this morning and the Darley stable jockey was still troubled by the knee injury that he suffered after falling in a race in New Zealand last Sunday.
“It is just not reacting as well as I would have liked,” McEvoy told TVN.
“I’d rather take the time to make sure it is right before I return to the races, I also don’t want to have any detriment to the horses that I would be riding, including Earthquake.”
Browne has ridden for Darley on a number of occasions in the past few years and will have the opportunity to record another big race win following his successful stint in Melbourne for the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival.
The leading jockey steered Buffering to victory in the Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on October 25 and the Group 1 VRC Sprint Classic (1200m) at Flemington on November 9 before partnering the son of Mossman in the Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) at Ascot on November 23.
Browne also rode Fire Up Fifi during her Melbourne spring campaign, which included a win in the Group 2 Blazer Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on October 5 and a third place finish behind Red Tracer in the Group 1 Myer Classic (1600m), and was unlucky not to score a feature race double when the Bradbury’s Luck mare was third behind Luckygray in the Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m) at Ascot.
Melbourne Cup winning jockey Damian Oliver was offered the ride on Earthquake, after partnering the classy filly in track work last week, but was already booked to ride Robbie Griffiths-trained Singularity in the 2014 Blue Diamond Prelude.
Earthquake will be having just her second race start after stamping herself as a Blue Diamond Stakes contender with a win in the Colin Pearce 100th Birthday Plate (1000m) at Royal Randwick on November 9.
The Exceed And Excel filly is currently on the second line of Blue Diamond Stakes betting markets, at odds of $4.50, behind exciting colt Rubick.
The Blue Diamond Prelude is one of a number of exciting races taking part at Caulfield this weekend and you can find all the best odds at Ladbrokes.com.au.
Sign-up and deposit to receive a free bet worth up to $250 that can be used to back Earthquake or any other horse on Saturday!