Back in the winners’ stall at Caulfield today, the Godolphin-owned filly Earthquake could be 2014 Manikato Stakes bound later this month after saluting for the punters in the $150,000 Group 3 Thoroughbred Club Stakes (1200m).
It was a relief for connections and trainer John O’Shea to get the daughter of Exceed And Excel back to winning form after the Blue Diamond Stakes winner lost her last three starts.
“It was just a matter of getting back in the game,” O’Shea told the media post-win.
Runner-up to Mossfun in the Golden Slipper as a two-year-old in the autumn, this season Earthquake went down as the odds-on favourite first-up in the Group 2 Furious Stakes (1200m) at Randwick.
She was also beaten as the punters’ pick last start when third behind subsequent Flight Stakes winner First Seal, who races in the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) in Sydney this afternoon, in the Group 3 Tea Rose Stakes (1400m).
Earthquake ($2.15) then today further franked the form coming out of the Tea Rose when returning to Caulfield and carrying the 59kg top weight to a nice one length win over the David Hayes & Tom Dabernig-trained Tawteen ($6).
Coming from the back of the field after missing the start, the Mick Price-trained market mover More Radiant ($4.40) also caught the eye after being hard ridden to eventually finisha close third at just her fourth career start.
Earthquake, ridden by her regular hoop Kerrin McEvoy, also had a far from ideal jump scrambling from the barriers and almost going down in the set weights plus penalties clash.
She quickly fixed herself up however and settled second just behind the front runner Tawteen who came into the race off a third to Eloping in the Group 3 Champagne Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley.
It was hard for Earthquake under the big weight and she seemed to hit a flat-spot about 600m out, but once they straightened McEvoy reeled in the frontrunner and the favourite had the class to hold off the rest of the field.
“I was slightly worried once we passed the 600 (metres),” McEvoy admitted.
“But once I straightened up…I always had the leader beaten and she had the motor to hold off the rest of them.
“The form from last time out was pretty good with First Seal being dominant the other day in a Group 1 win.
“We all think she’s better this way of going and it was nice to see her do that with 59kg today.”
Earthquake has now won three from three at Caulfield Racecourse and O’Shea said he would be keeping her nice record at the track in mind as he plotted the rest of her Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival campaign.
“It was a great ride by Kerrin and great to get her back in the winners’ circle,” O’Shea said.
“She seems to have an affiliation with Caulfield so that’s something to consider going forward.
“I think she’s done a great job with 59kg (today).
“Going forward she’ll get a bit of weight relief.”
He also said he was now giving serious consideration to backing her up in the $1 million Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) under the lights at Moonee Valley on Friday October 24 on the opening meeting of the two-day Cox Plate Carnival in a fortnight’s time.
“We might give consideration to a run in the Manikato,” he said.
“That’s something the team has discussed along the way.
“I’ll have a chat to Kerrin…..but I think it’s open for a three-year-old on a low weight and with her sort of form she could be competitive.”
To back Earthquake next race at the best price make sure you’ve got an account at Ladbrokes.com.au who are running an incredible $3 million Megapick offer on the last eight Caulfield Guineas Day races this afternoon for punters willing to bet just $3!
2014 Thoroughbred Club Stakes Results & Finishing Order
Caulfield Race 2 – 11/10/2014
|1||1||EARTHQUAKE||John O’Shea||Kerrin McEvoy||–||4||59kg||$2.15F|
|2||5||TAWTEEN||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Stephen Baster||1L||3||55.5kg||$6|
|3||8||MORE RADIANT||Mick Price||Craig Newitt||1.1L||5||55kg||$4.40|
|4||3||LONDON LOLLY||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Dwayne Dunn||2.35L||2||57kg||$31|
|5||6||YGRITTE||Gerald Ryan||Zac Purton||2.45L||8||55kg||$8.50|
|6||2||AIMEE||Noel Doyle||Steven Arnold||4.45L||6||57kg||$61|
|7||9||CRISTALINA LAGO||Pat Carey||Steven King||6.7L||1||55kg||$51|
|8||4||SILVERSANDS||Richard Jolly||Michael Walker||6.8L||7||55.5kg||$26|
|–||7||LOVED UP||Brett Cavanough||Hugh Bowman||–||0||–||–|