Damian Browne to ride Earthquake in Blue Diamond Prelude

By: Mark Mazzaglia
February 4th, 2014

Prominent Brisbane rider Damian Browne has picked up the ride on favourite Earthquake in the Group 3 $150,000 Sportingbet Blue Diamond Prelude (Fillies) (1100m) at Caulfield on Saturday.

Damian Browne picks up the ride on Earthquake in the Blue Diamond Prelude.

Damian Browne picks up the ride on Earthquake in the Blue Diamond Prelude. Photo by Daniel Costello.

The ride became available when Darley’s number one rider Kerrin McEvoy succumbed to a knee injury and declared himself unfit to resume riding this weekend.

McEvoy wasn’t completely happy with the recovery of the knee he injured in a fall in New Zealand last Sunday week after putting it through a gruelling test this morning but will be working hard to be fit to ride Earthquake in the Group 1 $1m Sportingbet Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on February 22.

The top jockey rode Blue Diamond Stakes fancies Earthquake and Mohave in trackwork at Flemington in the early hours of the morning before making a dash to the airport to arrive at Rosehill in Sydney in time to partner stable star Guelph in a 900m barrier trial win.

But he pulled up sore and had to put off his comeback until after he gets more treatment on the injury leg.

“I’m going to get an MRI either today or tomorrow and then we’ll know where we are going,” McEvoy told Racenet.

“I’ve always ridden with the approach that if you can’t be close to or at your best then there’s no point being there so I have to get it right.

“It obviously needs some more time to get right so that’s what we need to do.

“Initially my physio said it was only a grade one tear of the medial and she is still confident that it’s not serious. She said the structure of the knee is fine but with some soreness still there it could be some bone bruising.

“We didn’t get an MRI initially as she was happy that it was going to be fine but because it’s still a problem we are getting the scan to give a better indication to the extent of the problem.”

Trainer Peter Snowden had called on top Melbourne jockey Damien Oliver to partner Earthquake in a 800m Cranbourne barrier trial last Thursday but had to snap up the services of Browne after Oliver took the ride on the Robbie Griffiths trained Singularity in the Blue Diamond Prelude.

Browne has ridden seventeen metropolitan winners in Brisbane this season and was in the spotlight during last year’s Melbourne Spring Carnival due mainly to the deeds of the Robert Heathcote trained Buffering.

After a frustrating run of minor placings in Group 1 races across major carnivals over the last few racing seasons, Browne was able to combine with Buffering to score a hat trick of Group 1 victories.

The first of the trio was a nose win over top Hong Kong sprinter Lucky Nine in the Group 1 $1m Sportingbet Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on October 25 followed by a win over Shamexpress in the Group 1 $1m VRC Sprint Classic (1200m) at Flemington on the final day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival.

Heathcote then turned his attention to the west with the sprinting star and Brown and Buffering combined to win the Group 1 $500,000 Crown Perth – Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) at Ascot in Perth on November 23 by the narrowest of margins over the Peter Moody trained Moment Of Change.

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