Darley’s number one jockey Kerrin McEvoy believes that Earthquake has the class to complete the big Group 1 two year old double when she lines up in the $3.5m Tooheys New Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill on Saturday.
Earthquake was able to win the Group 1 $1m Sportingbet Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on February 22 from a wide barrier and the Peter Snowden trained filly has a great chance to repeat the feats of the stables other champion juvenile Sepoy who took out the double in 2011.
McEvoy has brushed aside a wide barrier, Earthquake will jump from gate twelve if the emergency Scratch Me Lucky doesn’t get a run, and will ride a positive race on the undefeated filly.
“She has the class to do a bit of work then have a bit of a rest,” McEvoy wrote in his Sportsman’s column today.
“I’m going out there happy and will ride a confident race knowing that my filly is a really classy filly and look to get her into a nice spot and rhythm and have her strong over the last two furlongs.”
McEvoy missed the winning ride in the Blue Diamond Stakes because of an injured knee and had to watch substitute jockey Damian Browne cross from a wide gate to give Earthquake a good run just behind the leaders before scooting away in the straight to score a dominant win.
Then at his first ride on Earthquake McEvoy had no problems in taking the filly to the front after she begin brilliantly from a wide gate and held off all challenges to beat Mossfun and Alpha Miss comfortably in the Group 2 $300,000 Parramatta Leagues Club Reisling Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill two weeks ago.
McEvoy said that he is going into Saturday’s race with an open mind and wouldn’t be frightened to lead if there was no pressure up front.
“I have no problems leading if her pace can get me there but you have to ride to conserve energy and it’s hard to go flat stick over six furlongs in a pressure race. Ideally I would like to find some cover,” McEvoy said.
A slightly raised temperature early in the week won’t be used as an excuse if Earthquake gets beat with McEvoy giving the filly the all clear after her final gallop on Wednesday morning.
“As far as we are concerned it is all systems go and if there was anything wrong with her she wouldn’t be lining up,” McEvoy said.
“She looks normal, and her blood picture reads well, she hasn’t missed any feed and her work on Wednesday was sharp.”
Snowden also confirmed that Earthquake was back to one hundred per cent and he had no concerns with her work or fitness.
“She is perfect,” Snowden told Racing Ahead.
“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.”
McEvoy lists the fillies Mossfun, Oakleigh Girl and Bring Me The Maid as the hardest to beat.
“I think the fillies look to have a bit of an edge this year,” McEvoy said.
Earthquake remains the clear cut $2.50 favourite for the Golden Slipper with Ladbrokes.com.au in front of the Team Hawkes trained Mossfun at $4.80.
The Peter Moody trained Bring Me The Maid has been solid at $11 just ahead of Earthquake’s stable mate Ghibellines at $12, Cornrow at $15 and Oakleigh Girl at $18.
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