Jockey Kerrin McEvoy drew gate 13 for Earthquake at the 2014 Golden Slipper barrier draw this morning, but remains confident that he can steer the classy filly to victory in the Group 1 event at Rosehill Gardens this weekend.
Earthquake will jump from barrier 12 after the emergency Scratch Me Lucky is removed from the Golden Slipper field and will start next to Team Hawkes-trained Mossfun, who finished second behind the daughter of Exceed And Excel in the in the Group 2 Reisling Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens just under a fortnight ago.
The 2014 Golden Slipper odds of Earthquake drifted slightly following the barrier draw this morning, with the juvenile now available at a quote of $2.15, but McEvoy believes that he will have a number of different options from barrier 12 with the versatile filly.
“She has natural speed, but I suppose we will sit down and access the options,” McEvoy said at the barrier draw.
“Mossfun will be directly on my inside once the scratching comes out and that will give me options about what to do.
“Obviously it is a high pressure race and you make a split second decision based on your feeling once you leave the gates.
“Hopefully I can choose the right one.”
McEvoy missed the first three starts of Earthquake’s career, including her victory in the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m), due to a knee injury and did not partner the two-year-old in a race until the Reisling Stakes.
Despite this, McEvoy has ridden Earthquake in trackwork since she first entered the Darley stable at Warwick Farm and said that the juvenile quickly showed that she had above average talent.
The Darley stable jockey praised the mental strength of Earthquake and believes that it is her mental maturity that will give her the edge in the high-pressure Golden Slipper at Rosehill Gardens this weekend.
“I first sat on her in October last year and she has shown great ability since the first time she started moving along,” McEvoy said.
“She has been very well handled by Peter and the whole team and she has taken all before her.
“I was unfortunate to miss out on her wins in Melbourne, but I’m glad to be back on her come Saturday.
“She has filled out a lot more and developed across the board both physically and mentally.
“She has a great mental approach to the game and that is what helps set these two-year-olds apart in these high pressure races.
“She has the right approach and she has shown that in races up to now as well.”
Earthquake ($2.15) is currently a clear favourite in 2014 Golden Slipper betting markets from Mossfun ($6.50), Ghibellines ($10), Cornrow ($12), Bring Me The Maid ($15) and Unencumbered ($15).