The Godolphin stable will be forced to run last season’s star two year old Earthquake in the Group 2 $175,000 Furious Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on Saturday even if they are confronted with another heavy track.
Earthquake was scratched from last Saturday week’s Group 2 $175,000 Coolmore Silver Shadow Stakes (1200m) at Randwick because of the heavy track conditions but the Exceed And Excel filly needs to kick off her Spring Carnival campaign if she is to be ready for her major Spring goals.
“Obviously we scratched her from the heavy going a couple of weeks ago but she really has to get going now if we’ve still got the Flight Stakes and Thousand Guineas as options,” Godolphin Racing Manager Jason Walsh told AAP.
The Group 1 $400,000 Flight Stakes (1600m) at Randwick is run on October 4 while the Group 1 $500,000 Schweppes Thousand Guineas (1600m) is run at Caulfield the following week.
Sydney has raced on heavy tracks the last two weekends at Randwick and Rosehill and the prospect of another rain affected track is on the cards with more rain predicted for the Harbour city for the rest of the week.
Trainer John O’Shea didn’t want to risk the Blue Diamond Stakes winner first-up on a heavy track in the Silver Shadow Stakes but with an extra two week’s work under her belt, the stable is confident that she will race well against the fillies in the Furious Stakes.
Earthquake has a solid hit out at Godophin’s Osborne Park facility in the outskirts of Sydney’s west to escape the wet conditions at Warwick Farm and pleased the stable with the gallop.
“She worked with a staying horse called Gouldian and we had a very good surface out there on the StrathAyr,” Walsh said.
Earthquake was undefeated at her first four race starts which included a dominant win in the Group 1 $1m Sportingbet Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on February 22.
Then under the care of Peter Snowden, Earthquake went back to Sydney to win the Group 2 $300,000 Parramatta Leagues Club Reisling Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill on March 22 before suffering her first defeat when run down the Team Hawkes trained Mossfun in the Group 1 $3.5m Tooheys New Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill on April 5.
Earthquake was then sent for a well-deserved spell and will be having her first run for Godolphins’ new trainer John O’Shea when she steps out on the weekend.
“She’s in great order, very very very happy with her. There has a long campaign ahead of her,” O’Shea said.
“She has got so many options going forward for her in the Spring.”
Early Thousand Guineas betting with Ladbrokes.com.au have Earthquake the $5 favourite ahead of Group 1 Champagne Stakes winner Go Indy Go at $5.50 and the Peter Moody trained Bring Me The Maid at $7.