Murwillumbah trainer Matthew Dunn is looking...
Three-year-old filly Earthquake is dually nominated for the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) and Listed Security Sprint (1100m) at Flemington this Saturday, though trainer John O’Shea has already made his mind up about which race she’ll actually line-up in.
“No way she’ll run in the Newmarket,” he exclaimed to TVN.
“She’ll run in the other race – we just need to get her back into a winning frame of mind and this looks the right race.
“She’s got a lot of weight (60.5kgs) and they have to carry it, but she has certainly deserved it.”
Earthquake is the only Godolphin horses nominated for the 2015 Newmarket Handicap but head trainer O’Shea believes it would be a mistake to send the filly down the straight against a top-class field that includes the two highest rated sprinters in the world – Lankan Rupee and Terravista.
Even though she’ll carry the hefty top weight of 60.5kg in the 2015 Security Sprint, compared to just 50kg in the Newmarket Handicap, Earthquake’s trainer is confident the filly can feature in the race.
Her big weight comes after the filly won the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) last February along with three further Group level wins and three placings.
Earthquake is one of 18 three-year-olds nominated for the handicap race that includes the likes of Team Hawkes’ Nostradamus, the three-quarter sister of Black Caviar: Sistonic, and Mick Price’s Cornrow, who only won his maiden on February 26 after 10 previous attempts.
Earthquake last won the Group 3 Thoroughbred Club Stakes (1200m) back in October before finishing midfield in the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) on November 1. The filly ran the best of those near the inside, finishing many lengths off the latter half of the field.
Following 12 weeks in the spelling paddock, Earthquake enjoyed two winning barrier trials before resuming in the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) on February 28. The filly worked in the early stages from barrier 10 before racing outside the leader at a solid tempo. She was under pressure nearing the home turn but got lost in the field, finishing six and a half lengths off winner Shamal Wind in tenth place.
If Earthquake can return to the winner’s circle in the 2015 Security Sprint, the filly will travel to Sydney during The Championships and contest either the Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) or Group 2 Arrowfield 3YO Sprint (1200m).
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