Three-year-old filly Earthquake has been kept fresh for the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m), and will resume in the $400,000 sprint race at Caulfield this Saturday.
Earthquake returns to the same meeting that she won the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) this time last year and is at the best condition of her career, according to Godolphin racing manager Jason Walsh.
The John O’Shea-trained filly opened the Oakleigh Plate betting market at Ladbrokes.com.au as the $5 favourite, thanks in part to her unbeaten track record at Caulfield. Earthquake won the Group 3 Blue Diamond Fillies Prelude (1100m) last February before taking out the $1 million main event two weeks later. She returned to the track in the spring to win the Group 3 Thoroughbred Club Stakes (1200m).
“She’s never looked better,” Walsh told Sky Racing.
“She’s big and strong and extremely healthy so we’re really excited to be stepping out a very talented filly again in what’s going to be a very competitive Group One handicap.
“She’s got a great record at Caulfield and her best would be the testing material.”
Earthquake has finished first three in eight of her nine career starts. Her only unplaced run came at the end of spring when she ran midfield in the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m). Following a 12 week spell, the filly had her first official trial at Cranbourne on January 29. She returned to the track nine days later to win by three and a half lengths in an easy piece of work.
The filly will carry just 50.5kg in the 2015 Oakleigh Plate as one of just three three-year-old runners but will have to overcome a tricky start from barrier 11 with Chad Schofield.
Schofield rode Earthquake in both of her trials and admits that while the filly has speed it’s unlikely she’ll be able to cross in front of I’m All The Talk and Lord Of The Sky, who will jump from inside the filly.
“Hopefully we can get a bit of cover and I’m sure she’ll be very strong to the line with no weight on her back,” Schofield said.
The Oakleigh Plate is one of three Group One races running at Caulfield this Saturday, set to be an action-packed race day for punters and racing fans alike.
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