Blue Diamond Stakes winner Earthquake is set to cement her position as favourite for the Golden Slipper with a win in the Group 2 $300,000 Reisling Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill on Saturday.
Earthquake will take on stablemate Memorial and several other top class fillies heading towards the Group 1 $3.5m Tooheys New Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill on April 5.
The Gary Nickson trained Alpha Miss and undefeated filly Mossfun from the Team Hawkes stable will be in contention for the Golden Slipper with good performances on Saturday.
Darley trainer Peter Snowden gave Earthquake a freshen up after winning the Group 1 $1m Sportingbet Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on February 22 in a canter, and he has warned his rivals that the Exceed And Excel filly hasn’t put a foot wrong since she has been back in work.
“Earthquake only had four days out at the farm after the Blue Diamond and her recent work on the track has been very good. She has pulled up really well in the wind after each gallop,’’ Snowden told The DailyTelegraph.
“She came out and ran so well in the Blue Diamond and she has been going ‘excellent’ since, I’m really happy with her,’’
Snowden has also stated that he thought Earthquake still had improvement on her Blue Diamond win and she should be winning again on Saturday as she winds up for the Golden Slipper in another fortnight.
“I didn’t want to sound arrogant before the Blue Diamond but the filly was still on the way up,” Snowden said.
Snowden is also happy with the performances of Memorial even though the Street Cry filly was beaten by Alpha Miss in the Listed $125,000 Pro-Ride Lonhro Plate (1100m) at Warwick Farm on March 8.
“I thought Memorial produced a really good run at Warwick Farm,’’ Snowden said.
“It showed to me she is up to Slipper class.’’
Alpha Miss is currently eighth in the Order Of Entry for the Golden Slipper but is not nominated but another good showing on Saturday could prompt connections to pay the $150,000 late entry fee.
”The plan was to go to the Magic Night Stakes, then the Royal Randwick Stakes, but after that you have to consider the Slipper,” Nickson said Alpha Miss won at Warwick Farm.
”We’ll be looking for a late payment now, for sure. I know it is $150,000 but you get $50,000 back for running last and everyone else has to pay $50,000 at the moment so we’re not that far behind, and you don’t get many chances to run in the Slipper.”
The Hawkes trained Mossfun has no worries of gaining a run in the Golden Slipper and is currently heading the Order Of Entry courtesy of her win in the Group 2 $250,000 Silver Slipper Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill on March 1 which made her exempt from the ballot.
The winner of the Reisling Stakes is also excluded from the ballot for the Golden Slipper if she is nominated and not high enough in the Order Of Entry, but the $180,000 first prizemoney would be enough to gain entry.
Earthquake has earned the most prizemoney of the two year olds following her win in the $1m Blue Diamond Stakes and is the ruling favourite at $2.75 for the Golden Slipper with Ladbrokes.com.au.
Mossfun is on the second line of betting at $8 with Unencumbered, at $11, and Risen From Doubt, at $15, both running on Saturday against the colts and geldings in the Group 2 $300,000 Todman Stakes (1200m).
Memorial is next in the betting at $17 while Alpha Miss has been marked a $26 chance even though at this stage she has not been nominated.