Unbeaten filly Earthquake has the class to overcome a horror barrier draw in the Group 1 $1m Sportingbet Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
Earthquake, with Queensland based jockey Damian Browne to ride, will jump from the outside of the sixteen horse field and Melbourne foreman for Darley Australia Paul Snowden says the Exceed And Excel filly has enough class to overcome the early setback.
“Look, 15 it’s a barrier, but it is a bit ordinary,” Paul Snowden told TVN.
“We will just have to look at it and sum up where we are going to be. She can race forward so that won’t change. She’s a quality filly.”
Ladbrokes.com.au have reacted to the ‘ordinary’ barrier draw by easing Earthquake out to $3.10 while the Gerald Ryan trained colt Rubick has maintained favouritism at $2.80 after drawing barrier ten.
Earthquake rounded off her Blue Diamond Stakes preparation with a solid workout at Flemington this morning with Snowden describing it as “the best she has ever done.”
Blue Diamond Stakes favouritism has alternated between Rubick and Earthquake, both of whom are undefeated from two starts each.
Earthquake staked her claims early in the season with a dominating win over 1000m at Randwick in November and then returned from a spell with a win in the Group 3 $150,000 Sportingbet Blue Diamond Prelude (Fillies) (1100m) at Caulfield on February 8.
While Rubick lived up to his pre-race hype with a two and three quarter lengths debut win over 1000m at Randwick on January 25 before running the exact same time (1.3.71s) as Earthquake in winning the colts and geldings version of the Blue Diamond Prelude on February 8.
Ryan was more than happy with the Rubick’s work on Monday morning when ridden by race jockey Brenton Avdulla and declared the Encosta De Lago colt spot on for Saturday’s assignment.
“The horse looks good, he looks terrific in his coat, he has come on and he is bright and well,” Ryan said.
“Brenton did not move on him. He ran 50.1, 22.70 and 10.68 seconds and he was cruising.
“He pulled up really well. By the time he got back to me in the middle (of the track) he would not have blown a feather over.
“He worked really well.”
The Mark Kavanagh trained Chivalry, barrier five with Stephen Baster, is next in the betting at $7.50 and the Street Cry colt put his cards on the table with an eye catching third to Rubick in the Blue Diamond Prelude when he made up plenty of ground in the straight from well back in the field.
Nayeli (gate 9) from the Gai Waterhouse stable with James McDonald to ride and Nostradamus (gate 11) trained by the Hawkes Team at Flemington with Glen Boss on board share the next line of betting at $10.
While Jabali at $18 is certain to be given a perfect run by Damien Oliver from gate three.