Trainer Peter Snowden is confident that classy filly Earthquake will take plenty of benefit from her barrier trial defeat to More Radiant at Cranbourne this morning.
Earthquake was having her first serious gallop since arriving in Melbourne just over a week ago and the daughter of Exceed And Excel raced keenly in the early stages of the trial before finishing narrowly behind More Radiant in a head bobbing finish.
Snowden told TVN after the trial that he was happy with the performance of Earthquake and said he is confident that the fitness of the star juvenile will improve significantly from the run.
“It is important for her to relax, at home she has been terrific, but today she was a little bit excited,” Snowden said.
“I’m happy with the horse; she wasn’t knocked around and she ran quick time.
“She had a nice blow and that’s what you want to see.
“If she came back and didn’t blow a candle out you know there is not much improvement there.”
Earthquake will return to the races in the Group 3 Blue Diamond Fillies Prelude (1100m) at Caulfield on February 8 and will press on to the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at the same venue a fortnight later.
The Blue Diamond Stakes has always been the major autumn goal for Earthquake, following her debut win at Royal Randwick on November 9 last year, and Snowden is confident that the two-year-old will be ready to perform at her best for the $1 million race.
“I know the horse, she is geared to go in three weeks’ time,” Snowden said.
“She will be spot on for the Blue Diamond.”
Earthquake ($4) remains on the second line of 2014 Blue Diamond Stakes betting markets following the barrier trial defeat; with Gerald Ryan-trained speedster Rubick ($3) a clear favourite from Team Hawkes-trained Nostradamus ($9), Street Cry colt Chivalry and Blue Diamond Fillies Preview winner Eloping.
Snowden is chasing his second win in the Blue Diamond Stakes after winning the 2011 edition of the event with star sprinter Sepoy.