The first two over the line in the Furious Stakes at the start of the month, Winx and Earthquake will face off again on Saturday in the latest leg of the Princess Series – the Tea Rose Stakes 2014.
Running as Randwick Race 4 at 2:25pm (AEST) on Saturday, the $175,000 Group 2 Coolmore Tea Rose Stakes (1400m) kicks off Group racing on George Main Stakes Day and features a field of eight fillies.
Heading the acceptances and drawn nicely in barrier three with Kerrin McEvoy to ride is the John O’Shea-trained Earthquake.
Winner of the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) during a stellar two-year-old season that finished with an upset loss to Mossfun in the Group 1 Golden Slipper (1400m) in April, the Godolphin-owned daughter of Exceed And Excel is looking to atone for another loss.
First-up at Randwick on September 6 Earthquake jumped odds-on favourite in the Group 2 Furious Stakes (1200m) but could only manage to finish three lengths away third to the Chris Waller-trained Winx.
She was vulnerable first-up in the wet, the Furious run on a Heavy (9), however so will be fitter for the run and appreciating a firmer track when she takes on her last start conqueror again in the Tea Rose Stakes.
Winx meanwhile has barrier two, drawn one on Earthquake’s inside, for round two this weekend.
Jason Collet replaces Hugh Bowman on the undefeated Street Cry filly who won her opening two races in Sydney back in June before her Furious Stakes success a fortnight ago.
Also coming via a gun run in the mud in the Furious is runner-up Alpha Miss, Gary Nickson’s Lucky Owners filly also Group 1 performed having run 14th in the Golden Slipper.
She’s third-up on Saturday having also run fourth to Bring Me The Maid in the Group 2 Silver Shadow Stakes (1200m) last month and so has the fitness edge here jumping from barrier six with Brenton Avdulla in the saddle.
Along with Earthquake the other Group 1 winner in the Tea Rose Stakes field this year is the Gerald Ryan-trained Peggy Jean (barrier seven).
She won the Group 1 ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) beating home the boys here in April before a fifth in the Group 1 Champagne Stakes (1600m) to see out her juvenile campaign.
First-up Peggy Jean was fifth in the Furious Stakes but getting out over the 1400m on Saturday will suit this daughter of Myboycharlie.
Rounding out the Tea Rose Stakes field are then the Bart & James Cummings-trained Furious Stakes fourth placegetter Sultry Feeling, Ming Dynasty third placed Lady Sharapova for Team Hawkes, the in-form but up in class Fastnet Rock filly First Seal on the rails and roughie shot Melanya in the outside gate.
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2014 Tea Rose Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
Randwick Race 4 (2:25pm) – 20/09/2014
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||1x1112x3||EARTHQUAKE||John O’Shea||Kerrin McEvoy||3||56kg||103|
|2||213215×5||PEGGY JEAN||Gerald Ryan||Larry Cassidy||7||56kg||95|
|3||11x4130x42||ALPHA MISS||Gary Nickson||Brenton Avdulla||6||56kg||86|
|4||11×1||WINX||Chris Waller||Jason Collett||2||56kg||91|
|5||6137×14||SULTRY FEELING||Bart & James Cummings||Tye Angland||5||56kg||78|
|6||36×13||LADY SHARAPOVA||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||James McDonald||4||56kg||74|
|7||4×12||FIRST SEAL||John P Thompson||Blake Shinn||1||56kg||69|
|8||763×15||MELANYA||Bryan Dais||Sam Clipperton||8||56kg||58|