Trainer Peter Snowden has revealed that Earthquake will take a forward position in the 2014 Golden Slipper field at Rosehill Gardens tomorrow.
Earthquake came from just off the pace to win the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on February 22, but she showed she has tactical versatility by winning from the front in the Group 2 Reisling Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 22.
Snowden told Racing Ahead this morning that he will be instructing jockey Kerrin McEvoy to take a forward position in the 2014 Golden Slipper field and is confident that the Exceed And Excel filly will be able to settle in the first four or five runners after jumping from barrier 12.
“We will be positive,” Snowden said.
“I want to make sure that we can take the hard luck story out of the race and just put ourselves right there in the first three or four.
“She has tremendous gate speed; she is a better chase and if she can sit off something and have something to run down that is the right scenario, but the most important thing is to get in a good spot.
“I want to be in the first four or five, give her a rest, and be good enough to finish.”
Earthquake sent a scare through the Darley camp when she was found with a slightly raised temperature on Sunday and her 2014 Golden Slipper odds lengthened when Snowden reported the minor setback to Racing New South Wales stewards.
Snowden believes that the mild temperature has been blown out of proportion and that he has been happy with the trackwork of Earthquake heading into the Golden Slipper this weekend.
“She is perfect,” Snowden said.
“She had a 38.5 temperature and she only missed one day’s work; instead of galloping her on Tuesday I galloped her on Wednesday.
“She did fast work on Saturday morning, did slow work Sunday morning, slow work on Tuesday morning and she galloped on Wednesday.
“There is no issues at all with her work or with her fitness.
“She galloped brilliantly on Wednesday and I can’t be any happier with the horse.”
Earthquake has the opportunity to join John’s Hope, Manikato, Bounding Away, Courtza and Sepoy as the only horses that have won both the Blue Diamond Stakes and the Golden Slipper and Snowden is confident that his star juvenile looks in better condition than she was before her maiden Group 1 victory a month and a half ago.
“I think that she looks better; if she is going better we will find out tomorrow,” Snowden said.
“She has won four from four and you can’t knock her form.
“She is in great order and she has definitely improved on the Reisling Slipper.”
Earthquake remains favourite in 2014 Golden Slipper betting markets, at odds of $2.50, but there has been plenty of support for Team Hawkes-trained Mossfun who is now into a quote of $4.60.