Trainer Peter Snowden has revealed that classy filly Earthquake will arrive in Melbourne next week ahead of her return to racing in the Group 3 Blue Diamond Prelude (1100m) at Caulfield on February 8.
Earthquake stamped herself as the favourite for the 2014 Blue Diamond Stakes (1000m) with an impressive two and a half lengths victory over Sheer Style in the Colin Pearce Birthday Plate (1000m) at Royal Randwick on November 9 and Snowden elected to immediately send the filly to the spelling paddock for a freshen up.
Snowden told Racing Ahead this morning that Earthquake improved from her time in the paddock and is progressing nicely as he steps up her preparation for the $1 million Group 1 event at Caulfield on February 22.
“She is coming along nicely and she is doing fast work now,” Snowden said.
“A little bit of a freshen up has done her the world of good, she has thickened a bit more and she is a bit stronger.
“I was going to send her down to Melbourne this week but she will probably go down next week and have a jump out or a trial in the last week on January.
“Her first start will be on the eight of February.
“We are happy with her and we have worked her a few times the opposite way here in Sydney and she has been fine with that.
“Her first trial will be a good guide to how she is going to handle the other way but I don’t think that it is going to be a problem.
“She is quiet tractable, does everything right and is a very relaxed filly.”
Snowden has had a great deal of success with juvenile horses since taking over the Darley operation, winning the Blue Diamond Stakes, Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m), Group 1 Sires Produce Stakes (1400m) and Group 1 Champagne Stakes (1600m) on a number of occasions, but is not getting ahead of himself with Earthquake.
While he admitted that he was impressed with Earthquake’s first-up victory, he wants to see the daughter of Exceed And Excel repeat that performance in the Blue Diamond Prelude before he compares her to the likes of Guelph.
“I’m a firm believer that the proof is in the pudding,” Snowden said.
“They can do a lot at home and do a lot in the trials but it is raceday that counts.
“She has had one start and she won nicely but I want to see her do it again.”
Snowden announced yesterday that he will set up his new stable with son Paul in the boxes vacated by John O’Shea at Randwick and purchased his first yearling, a colt by Stratum out of Rovigo, at the Magic Millions Sale on the Gold Coast today.