Just eight three-year-old fillies have been confirmed to line up for this weekend’s Group 2 Tea Rose Stakes (1400m) at Royal Randwick, however is shaping as one of the most hotly-contested events of the day as a result of the largely competitive nature of the acceptors.
Without doubt the standout two-year-old of the 2014 autumn season, trainer John O’Shea has confirmed Earthquake in the final field for the 2014 Tea Rose Stakes.
Stamping her claims as a leading contender from her maiden race start in November, Earthquake returned to the track in exceptional form this year; winning the Group 3 Blue Diamond Prelude (1100m) with ease first-up before overcoming the wide and awkward barrier 15 to break through for a maiden victory at the highest level of Australian racing in the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) on February 22nd.
Continuing her perfect career start through the Group 2 Reisling Stakes (1200m) on March 22nd, the Exceed And Excel filly was unable to completely overcome the rain-soaked Rosehill course when suffering her first competitive defeat to Mossfun in the Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m) on April 5th.
Fading for third in the Group 2 Furious Stakes (1200m) first-up on September 6th, O’Shea is confident a firmer track will play into the strengths of Earthquake in the 2014 Tea Rose Stakes, who is likely to receive the run of the race from the ideal barrier 3, with regular jockey Kerrin McEvoy confirmed to take the ride.
Also confirmed in the final field for the 2014 Tea Rose Stakes is Furious Stakes winner and classy Chris Waller-trained filly Winx.
Debuting with an easy victory in a minor over 1100m on June 4th, Winx continued her perfect career start when repeating the dose in the TAB Early Quaddie Handicap (1400m) on June 28th before returning to the paddock for a brief spell.
Jumping from the gates well in the Furious Stakes first-up, the Street Cry filly settled in prime positon on the heels of Earthquake before displaying a superior turn of foot in the final straight to finish three lengths in the clear of fellow Tea Rose Stakes acceptor Alpha Miss.
Allocated the ideal barrier 2, Waller is confident of another polished performance from the classy three-year-old this weekend.
The fairy-tale story of the current crop of three-year-old contenders, Alpha Miss has already achieved far-more than anticipated in her short racing career, but is offered another great chance of a successful meet from barrier 6 this weekend.
Purchased for just $6000 and already delivering her connections more than a quarter of a million dollars, the Lucky Owners filly won the Listed Gimcrack Stakes (1000m) on debut in October and continued to build in form and class over a strong autumn campaign, highlighted by another impressive win in the Listed Lonhro Plate and third in the Reisling Stakes.
Returning to racing for fourth in the Group 2 Silver Shadow Stakes (1200m) and second in the Furious Stakes, Alpha Miss appears primed for another good performance in the Tea Rose Stakes.
Securing two wins and three minor places from her seven starts to date, trainer Gerald Ryan is confident Group 1 winner Peggy Jean will be far better for her first-up run for fifth in the Furious Stakes, this weekend.
Failing to finish outside the places in her first five starts, the Myboycharlie filly announced her racing arrival when finishing second to Bring Me The Maid in the Group 2 Magic Night Stakes (1200m) before breaking through for a maiden Group 1 victory when finding the line in the clear in the ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) on April 12th.
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2014 Tea Rose Stakes Final Field and Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||1x1112x3||EARTHQUAKE||John O’Shea||Kerrin McEvoy||3||56kg||103|
|2||213215×5||PEGGY JEAN||Gerald Ryan||Larry Cassidy||7||56kg||95|
|3||11x4130x42||ALPHA MISS||Gary Nickson||Brenton Avdulla||6||56kg||86|
|4||11×1||WINX||Chris Waller||Jason Collett||2||56kg||91|
|5||6137×14||SULTRY FEELING||Bart & James Cummings||Tye Angland||5||56kg||78|
|6||36×13||LADY SHARAPOVA||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||James McDonald||4||56kg||74|
|7||4×12||FIRST SEAL||John P Thompson||Blake Shinn||1||56kg||69|
|8||763×15||MELANYA||Bryan Dais||Sam Clipperton||8||56kg||58|