Godolphin’s Blue Diamond Stakes winning filly Earthquake is out to make amends for her first-up defeat as the odds-on favourite in the Furious Stakes when she takes on her last start conqueror Winx in Saturday’s 2014 Tea Rose Stakes.
A winner of her opening four career starts including the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) over the boys when prepared by Peter Snowden, the now John O’Shea-trained daughter of Exceed And Excel is looking to win back the love of the punters this weekend in the $175,000 Group 2 Tea Rose Stakes (1400m).
She is one of only eight three-year-old fillies nominated for the set weights clash on George Main Stakes Day at Royal Randwick and comes off losses at her two most recent runs.
Earthquake first tasted defeated when racing on a Heavy (8) track at Rosehill, her first look at ground rated worse than a Good (3), for a three-quarter length second behind Mossfun in the $3.5 million Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m) in early April.
After a five month break she returned as a three-year-old on September 6 but failed to perform at her best, vulnerable again on a rain-affected Sydney track in the Group 2 Furious Stakes (1200m).
There she struggle don the Heavy (9) and after narrowly leading on the turn she was grabbed inside the final 200m and dropped back to cross three lengths away third behind the Chris Waller-trained Winx.
A firmer track second-up then should work in Earthquake’s favour with Furious Stakes winner Winx the one to beat again in the Tea Rose Stakes.
“Earthquake was great first-up, I was very happy with her,” O’Shea told The Daily Telegraph this week.
“I feel she just needs to get on top of the ground.”
Street Cry filly Winx is undefeated with three wins from as many starts to date after her upset in the Furious as an $8 chance, Waller hoping she can retain that flawless record on the weekend.
Also coming via a Furious Stakes run are fellow Tea Rose Stakes nominees Alpha Miss (2nd) third-up here, the Bart & James Cummings-trained Sultry Feeling (4th) and Gerald Ryan’s Group 1 ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes winner Peggy Jean (5th) who will appreciate the step up in distance.
The Tea Rose Stakes is the latest lead-up race for fillies heading towards the $400,000 Group 1 Flight Stakes (1600m) back at the track on October 4, so watch the form line ahead of the Epsom Handicap Day feature.
See below for the full Tea Rose Stakes 2014 nominations with the final field of acceptors due out on Wednesday morning.
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2014 Tea Rose Stakes Nominations
Royal Randwick – 20/09/2014
|2||PEGGY JEAN||Gerald Ryan||2||56kg||95|
|3||ALPHA MISS||Gary Nickson||3||56kg||86|
|5||SULTRY FEELING||Bart & James Cummings||5||56kg||78|
|6||LADY SHARAPOVA||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||6||56kg||74|
|7||FIRST SEAL||John P Thompson||7||56kg||69|