James McDonald will be hoping for a quick return...
A host of Group races leading up to the spring majors run at Royal Randwick on Saturday including the return of Earthquake in the 2014 Furious Stakes– tips and betting selections for which are detailed below.
Seven three-year-old fillies make-up the field for this weekend’s $175,000 Group 2 Coolmore Furious Stakes (1200m), the $1.75 odds-on favourite through Ladbrokes.com.au of which is the John O’Shea-trained Earthquake.
The Blue Diamond Stakes winning Exceed And Excel filly debuts for O’Shea, new private trainer for Godolphin, here after being scratched from the Silver Shadow due to the Heavy track and should be rearing to go first-up.
Her latest effort was also her only loss in five starts when runner-up in the Golden Slipper on April 5, but against easier company here she should prove ‘good value’ even at the short price.
The bookies then have a close market on four of the other six Furious Stakes hopes including Gerald Ryan’s Group 1 ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes winner Peggy Jean ($5) and O’Shea’s other runner Memorial ($7).
So will Earthquake get the job done here and firm even further in the futures markets for the $500,000 Group 1 Thousand Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield on October 11?
Or is there an upset Furious Stakes result on the card this year?
#1 Earthquake ($1.75)
It looks the day for odds-on picks across Sydney and Melbourne this Saturday with Lankan Rupee in the McEwen Stakes at Moonee Valley and Earthquake here. She should be winning even after the delay due to the weather for her resuming run. Working well ahead of her return and has won four from five so far. Only loss was in the world’s richest race for two-year-olds run on a Heavy (9) at Randwick. She’ll be better on the Slow track here and can get back to the business of winning. She’s undefeated first-up (2-2-0-0) and at the track (1-1-0-0). Distance also looks ideal (3-2-1-0) and don’t see much challenging with second pick in the market Peggy Jean likely wanting more ground.
#3 Memorial ($7)
Backing a Godolphin quinella with Memorial to follow up her star stablemate and snare second. Drawn one on Earthquake’s inside with gate two so should get a gun run. This daughter of Street Cry was fifth in the Slipper last season and the 1200m suits. She was runner-up to Golden Slipper third placegetter Bring Me The Maid in the Silver Shadow when Earthquake came out on August 23 at the track, handles a rain-affected ground and can finish second best again here at a decent price.
#5 Winx ($8)
Undefeated Street Cry filly from the Chris Waller stables. She’s at Randwick for the first time but has won at Warwick Farm over 1100m and Rosehill over 1400m. Third in a trial at the Kensington track on August 23, a hit-out Group 1 winner Peggy Jean was second in, with improvement off that expected as she goes up from 840m in the trial. Runs well fresh and even though she’ll probably make a nice 1400m – 1600m type the distance is right first-up.
Get behind our Furious Stakes selections or back your own fancies online now at the best price at Ladbrokes.com.au enjoying a bonus match bet valued at 100% of your first deposit up to $250 this season only!
*All odds quoted are Fixed Win from Ladbrokes.com.au and subject to change
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