Earthquake has been included in the 2014 Silver Shadow Stakes field, but she is no certainty to contest the Group 2 event at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
Earthquake showed that she was ready for a return to racing after she performed strongly in a trackwork gallop yesterday, but the Godolphin team is not keen to run the Blue Diamond Stakes winner on a heavy track in the Silver Shadow Stakes this weekend.
“All of these horses have their main targets deeper into the spring and it is just a question of not wanting to give them their first-up run on a really heavy track, more than a case of they won’t handle it or anything like that,” Godolphin Racing Manager Jason Walsh told Sky Racing HQ
“We will leave that decision until later in the week when we know how that track is going to play.
“There are options obviously with the Furious Stakes now also being 1200 and both Memorial and Earthquake could wait and go there.”
While Walsh is not thrilled about the wet weather in Sydney at the moment, he is happy with the physical condition of Earthquake ahead of her return to racing in either the Silver Shadow Stakes or the Group 2 Furious Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on September 6.
Walsh believes that Earthquake will take plenty of benefit out of her first-up run, but said that both regular jockey Kerrin McEvoy and trainer John O’Shea were happy with the way the daughter of Exceed And Excel performed in a testing trackwork gallop yesterday.
“She was really strong,” Walsh said.
“Kerrin McEvoy partnered her in that piece of work and she worked with Kumaon and both horses did really good.
“She has some improvement to come in her coat Earthquake, but John and Kerrin are both very pleased with where she is at.
“Coming out of winter she probably doesn’t look as good as she did in the summer months, but she has definitely strengthened up a little bit and Kerrin thinks that he can feel that underneath him.”
Nine horses have been included in the 2014 Silver Shadow Stakes field and Earthquake will need to be at her best to start her 2014 Spring Racing Carnival campaign with a win.
Godolphin have also included Memorial in the Silver Shadow Stakes field, but like her stablemate Earthquake she is no certainty to return to the races for the first time since she failed to fire in the Group 3 Royal Randwick Stakes (1200m) on April 19.
Bring Me The Maid and Alpha Miss are set to return to the races for the first time since the Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m) and both have impressed in their respective jump outs and barrier trials.
Gai Waterhouse is set to have both Nayeli and Twirl in the Silver Shadow Stakes, while Clover Lane and High Above will also have a fitness edge over their rivals in the Group 2 event.