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Three-year-old Godolphin filly Earthquake is set to make her debut at Moonee Valley this Friday night in the Group 1 William Reid Stakes (1200m).
Earthquake is one of 23 sprinters nominated for the Friday night feature race and trainer John O’Shea has booked Tommy Berry as hoop. The leading Sydney-based jockey will travel to Melbourne on Friday before returning to Sydney for The BMW Day at Rosehill.
The 2015 William Reid Stakes will be the first partnership of Earthquake and Berry, who enjoyed a win in the Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m) last Saturday, the feature race of the five Group One race meeting at Rosehill.
Earthquake was last seen running second in the Listed MSS Security Sprint (1100m) on March 14, less than one length behind winner Pittsburgh Flyer. The filly tracked the leaders after jumping from barrier three, rolling off their heels and taking over the lead 300m out. She kicked clear but was headed with 150 to go, keeping on for second place.
Overall it was quite an accomplishment for Earthquake, who had to carry the hefty topweight of 60.5kg compared to Pittsburgh Flyer’s 54kg.
The three-year-old won’t have to worry about the weights on Friday as she’ll carry the minimum of 54kg in the weight-for-age William Reid Stakes. The swing of six and a half kilos from her last run is sure to be an advantage for the filly.
Earthquake had a track gallop at the course proper on Monday morning, which pleased Godolphin’s head of Melbourne operations David Charles.
“We were very happy with her work, she’s made great progress since her second placing at Flemington and we’re looking forward to Friday night,” Charles told Racing Victoria.
“She’s had a relatively quiet week on the track leading into this week and we’re quite lucky that we’re able to come out here to Moonee Valley and use a perfect surface to have a gallop around and top her off for Friday.”
Earthquake was the champion two-year-old last autumn after winning the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) on February 22 followed by a hard-fought second placing in the Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m).
Resuming in the spring, the filly ran third in both the Group 2 Furious Stakes (1200m) and Group 2 Tea Rose Stakes (1400m) but managed to win the Group 3 Thoroughbred Club Stakes (1200m) on October 11. She then finished outside the placings for the first time in the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) but ran the best of those near the inside.
Following a three month spell, Earthquake resumed in the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) on February 28. She worked in the early stages from barrier 10 and then raced outside the leader at a solid tempo. She was under pressure nearing the home turn and tired, finishing six and a half lengths behind winner Shamal Wind in 10th place.
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