Earthquake might have been beaten in a Cranbourne trial on Thursday morning, but Peter Snowden remains upbeat about the spruik filly’s Blue Diamond Stakes prospects.
The daughter of Exceed And Excel, who opened Blue Diamond favourite on the strength of her stunning debut win in Sydney on 9 November, made her first public appearance in Victoria in an 800-metre trial.
After racing on the pace for Damien Oliver, she was nosed out by the Mick Price-trained More Radiant in a time of 46.3 seconds, which Snowden considered a satisfactory result given the improvement she will take out of the excursion.
“She was pretty fresh today,” Snowden said. “Normally she’s push-button, but she wanted to go a bit keen early.
“They ran quick time and she wasn’t knocked around to do it, but she’s had a nice blow.
“That’s what you want to see. If she’s come back and hasn’t blown a match out you know there’s not much more improvement in her but I know the horse and she’s geared to go in three weeks’ time.
“Saturday week she runs and then it’s two weeks to the Diamond. She’ll be spot on by then.”
Earthquake, who now occupies the $4.60 second line in Diamond betting behind Rubick ($3.20), will have her first Victorian start in the $150,000 Group 3 Blue Diamond Fillies’ Prelude (1100m) at Caulfield on 8 February.
Oliver is unlikely to be aboard that day, with Darley stable rider Kerrin McEvoy poised to recover from a minor knee injury that prevented him from taking the trial ride, but he was taken by the Earthquake’s quality.
“She’s a class filly, you can see that as soon as you get on her,” Oliver said. “Like a lot of good two-year-olds she almost feels like a three-year-old already, so she’s a lovely filly and had got a great attitude, which is going to take her a long way.”
One filly Earthquake won’t have to worry about in the Blue Diamond is More Radiant, who is not nominated for the $1 million Group 1.
Price is unsure what to do with the daughter of More Than Ready, who is in her first preparation.
“The question is, has she had enough?” Price said. “She’s shown good ability at Caulfield, what she did here (in the trial) was very smart and she is going to be a Group filly, it’s just a matter of what we do with her this prep.”
The trial More Radiant and Earthquake fought out was just of many highlights on a big morning of trials at the Cranbourne Training Complex.
Victoria Derby winner Polanski stepped out in the first trial of the day, finishing a 3.1-length third behind Lankan Rupee and Unpretentious in the open-class 800m event, while Lion of Belfort hinted he was in for a good campaign with a narrow-but-impressive win over Late Charge in a later 800m trial.
– Racing Victoria