Godolphin-owned filly Earthquake has failed to live up to the pre-race hype once again going down in an upset Furious Stakes 2014 result to the undefeated Chris Waller-trained Winx in the opening Group race at Royal Randwick.
All the money for today’s $175,000 Group 2 Coolmore Furious Stakes (1200m) was on Blue Diamond Stakes winning filly Earthquake but it was a daughter of Street Cry who best handled the Heavy track.
Last time out in April’s Golden Slipper a rain-affected course saw Earthquake beat, and it was the same story today with John O’Shea’s superstar vulnerable first-up on a mud track.
Earthquake had no excuses given a lovely ride up on the pace to lead throughout with jockey Kerrin McEvoy setting a moderate pace.
She was followed on the outside by Sultry Feeling, ridden by Tye Angland, and the duo controlled the race.
Ace hoop Hugh Bowman meanwhile had Waller’s filly stalking the pace off the speed in third with Winx ready to let down on the straight.
And let down she did storming home in a dominant display to beat home the Gary Nickson-trained Alpha Miss by two and three quarter lengths kicking off her spring with a ban and plenty of improvement to come.
“That was pretty special,” Chris Waller’s racing manage Liam Prior told TVN.
“Once she hit the furlong she let down strong in a pretty dominant win.”
Earthquake meanwhile was under enormous pressure over the final few hundred metres but managed to hold on to finish just a half head further back for third.
Winx won both of her Sydney starts during the winter including a 1400m effort at Rosehill and so is already proven over more distance.
She’s a very exciting prospect for connections then who have a super exciting filly on their hands looking ahead to the bigger races of the Sydney Spring Racing Carnival.
They couldn’t catch her over the 1200m on Chelmsford Stakes Day, Winx absolutely toying with them to race away with the Furious Stakes victory, and so as she gets up over a trip Winx will be even harder to beat.
“What I liked about her was the way she came out of the barriers and put herself in the race,” Bowman said post-win.
“She’s certainly got a bright future.”
While she could easily be competitive in Saturday week’s $1 million Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill Waller will keep her to her own kind.
Instead she gets two weeks between runs and will next race in the $175,000 Group 2 Tea Rose Stakes (1400m) back at Randwick on September 20.
“She only had to run third of fourth to pass the mark (we’d set for her),” Prior said.
“So on the back of that going to the 1400m in two weeks she’s on song for an exciting preparation.”
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2014 Furious Stakes Results & Finishing Order
Randwick Race 3 – 06/09/2014
|1||5||WINX||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||–||6||56kg||$6.50|
|2||4||ALPHA MISS||Gary Nickson||Jason Collett||2.8L||4||56kg||$26|
|3||1||EARTHQUAKE||John O’Shea||Kerrin McEvoy||2.9L||2||56kg||$2.05F|
|4||6||SULTRY FEELING||Bart & James Cummings||Tye Angland||3.1L||5||56kg||$6|
|5||2||PEGGY JEAN||Gerald Ryan||Blake Shinn||4.1L||3||56kg||$7.50|
|6||3||MEMORIAL||John O’Shea||James McDonald||6.6L||1||56kg||$8|
|–||7||SAILING PAST (NZ)||John Sargent||Brenton Avdulla||–||0||–||–|