Just nine three-year-old fillies have been nominated to contest this weekend’s Group 2 Furious Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick, highlighted by several of the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival’s most exciting prospects.
Without doubt the standout performer of major two-year-old events through the 2014 Autumn Carnival, trainer John O’Shea has nominated Earthquake for a first-up appearance in the Group 2 Furious Stakes.
Securing a particularly impressive total of four wins and one second place from just five competitive starts, Earthquake stamped her claims as one to watch when charging home to win the Colin Pearce 100th Birthday Plate (1000m) by close to three lengths on debut in November, returning for another comfortable victory in the Group 3 Blue Diamond Prelude (1100m) before overcoming a wide and awkward barrier to win the featured Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes.
Continuing her perfect run of form through the Group 2 Reisling Stakes (1200m) on March 22nd, the Exceed And Excel filly was unable to completely handle the rain-soaked Rosehill course during the Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m) most recently, finishing second.
Removed from the final field of the Group 2 Silver Shadow Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on August 23rd on account of another rain-affected running surface, O’Shea is confident of a winning return to racing for Earthquake this weekend.
Godolphin is set to be offered two great chances in the 2014 Furious Stakes, with O’Shea also nominating talented filly Memorial.
Winning each of her first two starts in November, Memorial returned to racing this year for second behind fellow Furious Stakes nominee Alpha Miss in the Listed Lonhro Plate (1100m) on March 18th, and while unable to figure in either of the Reisling Stakes or Group 3 Royal Randwick Stakes (1200m), was particularly impressive when fifth in the Golden Slipper.
Returning for second in the Silver Shadow two weeks ago, the Street Cry filly will be a particularly good chance of success if allocated a favourable barrier in the 2014 Furious Stakes.
The fairytale story of the current crop of three-year-old fillies, Alpha Miss was purchased for just $6000, but has already delivered her connections close to a quarter of a million dollars in prize money.
Winning each of her first two starts including the Listed Gimcrack Stakes (1000m) on debut in October, Alpha Miss finishing fourth in the Group 3 Widden Stakes (1100m) first-up this year before returning to the winner’s circle in the Lonhro Plate and running in to finish third in the Reisling Stakes, in what was arguably her most impressive performance so far.
Finishing fourth in the Silver Shadow first-up, the Lucky Owners filly is nominated for the Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) on September 13th and is likely to take her position in the final field if successful in the Furious Stakes.
Breaking through for a maiden Group 1 victory in the 2014 spring, trainer Gerald Ryan revealed he is thrilled with the form of Peggy Jean ahead of her likely racing return in the Furious Stakes.
Finishing outside the places just once in six competitive starts so far, Peggy Jean quickly stamped her claims as a serious contender in her first three starts in minor events before finishing second in the Group 2 Magic Night Stakes (1200m) on March 29th and winning the Group 1 ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) on April 12th.
Returning to the paddock after finishing a luckless fifth when blocked for a run in the final straight of the Group 1 Champagne Stakes (1600m), Peggy Jean has been included in nominated for four major Group 1 events through the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival.
A final field and barrier draw for the 2014 Furious Stakes is due to be released on Wednesday morning.
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2014 Furious Stakes Nominations
|1||AIMEE||Noel J Doyle||–|
|2||ALPHA MISS||Gary Nickson||–|
|3||CLOVER LANE (NZ)||Peter G Moody||–|
|6||PEGGY JEAN||Gerald Ryan||–|
|7||SAILING PAST (NZ)||John Sargent||–|
|8||SULTRY FEELING||Bart & James Cummings||77|