Just eight three-year-old fillies have been nominated for this weekend’s Group 2 Tea Rose Stakes (1000m), highlighted by several standout performers over major two-year-old events through the 2014 Autumn Carnival.
Unable to handle the late pace when third in the Group 2 Furious Stakes (1200m) first-up on September 6th, trainer John O’Shea has nominated Earthquake for the 2014 Tea Rose Stakes.
Yet to finish outside the places in six competitive starts, Earthquake more than stamped her claims as one to watch when comfortably winning her maiden start by close to three lengths in November and returned this year for another strong win in the Group 3 Blue Diamond Prelude (1100m) on February 8th.
Allocated the wide and awkward barrier 15 for the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m), Earthquake was abandoned in betting markets in the day’s leading up to the feature race but displayed a keen turn of foot to beat closest rival Jabali by two lengths.
Continuing her perfect career start through the Group 2 Reisling Stakes (1200m), the Exceed And Excel filly has shown a particular disdain for rain-affected surfaces in her two most recent starts; finishing second to Mossfun in the Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m) before returning for third in the Furious Stakes.
Also included in nominations for the 2014 Tea Rose Stakes is fellow Group 1 winning filly Peggy Jean.
Claiming two wins and a further three minor places from seven starts so far, Peggy Jean finished second in the ATC Membership On Sale Maiden (1000m) on debut on January 8th before breaking through for a maiden race win when beating a talented field to the line in the Inglis Classic (1200m) on January 18th.
Finishing second to subsequent Golden Slipper third Bring Me The Maid in the Group 2 Magic Night Stakes (1200m) on March 29th, the Myboycharlie filly more than announced her racing arrival when charging home late to win the Group 1 ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) most notably on April 12th.
Finishing fifth in the Furious Stakes first-up, trainer Gerald Ryan is confident the step up in distance to 1400m will play directly into the strengths of Peggy Jean in the 2014 Tea Rose Stakes.
Running on to become just the third horse to beat Earthquake to the line competitive when finishing second in the Furious Stakes last time out, Alpha Miss has been nominated for the 2014 Tea Rose Stakes.
The fairy-tale story of the current batch of three-year-old contenders, Alpha Miss was purchased for just $6000 but has already delivered her connections more than a quarter of a million dollars in prize money over just eight starts.
Winning each of her first two race starts, including the Listed Gimcrack Stakes (1000m) in October last year, the Lucky Owners filly returned to racing for third in the Group 2 Widden Stakes (1100m) on February 15th before returning to the winner’s circle in the Listed Lonhro Plate (1100m) on March 8th.
Running on for a credible third in the Reisling Stakes, Alpha Miss has again returned to the track in competitive form this season; finishing fourth in the Group 2 Silver Shadow Stakes (1200m) first-up before her run for second in the Furious Stakes on September 6th.
Furious Stakes winner Winx has also been included in nominations for the 2014 Tea Rose Stakes, alongside Bart and James Cummings-trained Sultry Feeling, Lady Sharapova, First Seal and Melanya.
A final field and barrier draw for the 2014 Tea Rose Stakes is due to be released on Wednesday morning.
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2014 Tea Rose Stakes Nominations
|2||PEGGY JEAN||Gerald Ryan||2||56kg||95|
|3||ALPHA MISS||Gary Nickson||3||56kg||86|
|5||SULTRY FEELING||Bart & James Cummings||5||56kg||78|
|6||LADY SHARAPOVA||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||6||56kg||74|
|7||FIRST SEAL||John P Thompson||7||56kg||69|