Earthquake Confirmed for 2015 Oakleigh Plate

February 5th, 2015

Arguably the standout two-year-old over the 2014 edition of the Autumn Carnival, trainer John O’Shea has confirmed Earthquake will contest the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) on February 28th and will be partnered by talented young jockey Chad Schofield.

Earthquake will be partnered by Chad Schofield in the 2015 Oakleigh Plate. Photo: Race Horse Photos Australia

Earthquake will be partnered by Chad Schofield in the 2015 Oakleigh Plate. Photo: Race Horse Photos Australia

Finishing outside the places only once in her nine start career so far, Earthquake has not been seen at the races since fading late to finish mid-pack in the major Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on November 1st.

Yet to contest an event out of her own age group, O’Shea is confident the exceptionally light weight and conditions of the 2015 Oakleigh Plate will play into the strengths of Earthquake, who will complete one more trial prior to her competitive return.

“I thought her first trial was excellent and she lines up in the Oakleigh Plate first-up in a couple of weeks on Blue Diamond Day,” O’Shea told Sky Racing HQ.

“We are very, very happy with her and she has had a lovely smooth preparation.

“Chad is on notice that he will probably have to make 50 kilos for the Oakleigh Plate and I think it is a nice weight for a horse of her profile and her record.”

Winning a minor over 1000m by close to four lengths on debut in the late stages of 2013, Earthquake more than stamped her claims as one to watch when comfortably taking out the Group 3 Blue Diamond Prelude (1100m) before breaking through for a maiden victory at the highest level in the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) on February 22nd.

Continuing her perfect career start through the Group 2 Reisling Stakes (1200m) before a close run for second in the Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m), the Exceed And Excel filly was unable to reach the same racing highs over spring; finishing third in each of the Group 2 Furious Stakes (1200m) and Group 2 Tea Rose Stakes (1400m) before returning to the winner’s circle in the Group 3 Thoroughbred Club Stakes (1200m) in her only other start prior to the Coolmore Stud Stakes.

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