Unraced filly More Radiant upset leading 2014 Blue Diamond Stakes contender Earthquake in a barrier trial over 800 metres at Cranbourne this morning.
Earthquake was making her first public appearance since arriving in Melbourne last week and she was unable to replicate the dominance of her maiden barrier trial appearance at Rosehill Gardens in October last year.
The Exceed And Excel filly jumped from the gates well and worked to the lead towards the outside of the track, but quickly challenged by a number of horses on the inside.
Jockey Damien Oliver asked Earthquake for an effort in the final stages of the trial and she cleared away from the field with More Radiant; with More Radiant narrowly edging the classy Darley filly in a tight finish.
Earthquake stamped herself as a leading contender for the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on February 22 with a dominant two and a half lengths victory over Sheer Style and Headwater Country in the Colin Pearce 100th Birthday Plate (1000m) at Royal Randwick on November 9.
The classy juvenile will return to the races in the Group 3 Blue Diamond Fillies Prelude (1100m) at Caulfield on February 8 before making her debut at Group 1 level a fortnight later in the Blue Diamond Stakes.
More Than Radiant is yet to be seen at the races and has not been included in the nominations for the Blue Diamond Stakes, but clearly has plenty of natural speed and ability.
Owners Vinery Stud have the option of paying the $55,000 late entry fee for the Group 1 event, as the connections of Miracles Of Life did before the 2013 edition of the race, but trainer Mick Price is yet to make a decision.
Earthquake remains on the second line of 2014 Blue Diamond Stakes betting markets at odds of $4; with speedy colt Rubick a clear favourite at odds of $3 following his three lengths victory on debut at Royal Randwick on Saturday.