Eight fillies will line up for the running of this year’s Tea Rose Stakes with the winner adding their name to the impressive honour roll that includes More Joyous, Samantha Miss, Streama, Sunline and Ha Ha. Punters believe Winx will be the horse to do it and after her impressive G2 Furious Stakes, it’s hard to argue she won’t be. Like Earthquake, who finished third in the Furious, Winx was returning from a spell and stepping up in class on her previous wins, but simply sped away from her rival late on the heavy track, winning convincingly. The two battle out for favouritism here and are the only two under double figure odds in early markets with Winx ($2.20) holding a slight advantage over Earthquake ($2.70).
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1. EARTHQUAKE – K McEvoy (3)
Resumed to racing in last fortnight’s G2 Furious Stakes and from the inside draw, led the small field of runners. On a heavy track and being first up, jockey Kerrin McEvoy was mindful not to punish last season’s champion filly as she held her ground in the run to the line, finishing third (2.9 lengths) to Winx. She’ll show a significant improvement back on top of the ground and can bounce straight back into the winner’s stall here.
2. PEGGY JEAN – L Cassidy (7)
G1 winner of the Sire’s Produce Stakes who returned to racing with no luck in the G2 Furious Stakes a fortnight ago. She was posted deep throughout in a small field, before joining the leaders four wide as the straightened for the run home. No surprise to see her weaken late after the run she had and being first up. She’s a better horse than that and will be finishing much stronger here.
3. ALPHA MISS – B Avdulla (6)
More was expected from her first up in the G2 Silver Shadow Stakes. She was sent out a 5/1 chance and from a good draw, took up a handy spot behind the leaders but didn’t let down in the heavy conditions and crossed the line in fourth sport (4.4 lengths) behind Bring Me The Maid. She was better at her next and most recent start, again on heavy, finishing second (2.8 lengths) to impressive winner Winx after saving ground along the fence. She needs to improve again but a drier track, on which from two starts she can boast a win and a third behind Earthquake and Mossfun in the G2 Riesling Stakes, should help her do that. Regular jockey Jason Collett as abandoned her though for the opportunity to ride Winx.
4. WINX – J Collett (2)
Remained unbeaten and become a Group winning filly with a dominant performance in the G2 Furious Stakes a fortnight ago. The daughter of Street Cry sat off the pace before rounding up her opposition in one swoop, racing away to win by 2.8 lengths. Really pleasing to see her kick away when asked for the extra effort, a sign of a good horse. Hard to not tip her remaining unbeaten here.
5. SULTRY FEELING – T Angland (5)
After running third to Bring Me The Maid and Peggy Jean in the G2 Magic Night Stakes as a 2yo, it was no surprise to see this well bred daughter of Encosta De Lago returned as the 7/4 favourite when lining up in a BM 73 (1100m) at Canterbury last month. She didn’t let punters down, recording an impressive 2.8 length win before stepping up in grade to the G2 Furious Stakes. She settled outside the leader Earthquake and only held her ground in the run home after some tightening soon after straightening. Better ridden with a sit and has the runs on the board to be forgiven for last start.
6. LADY SHARAPOVA – J McDonald (4)
Recorded her maiden victory first up from a spell, defeating the handy performer Twirl at Canterbury by a length in a maiden over 1250m. The well bred Fastnet Rock filly then took on the boys in the G3 Ming Dynasty (1400m) and did herself proud, finishing better than most from a midfield position to run third (2.6 lengths) behind Panzer Division – who’ll contest the G1 WFA Georg Main Stakes later in the day. Form out of the Ming Dynasty has been franked and a return to her own sex is a plus. Can run a bold race here.
7. FIRST SEAL – B Shinn (1)
Had to work hard for her maiden win at Kensington two starts back when defeating Spirit of Joy by a head with subsequent winner High Above finishing third. She then took on the males in a BM 70 (1400m) at Rosehill and from an on-pace position, beat all bar Wednesday’s G3 Spring Stakes winner Sweynesse home, running second by three quarters of a length. Will get the right kind of run here and can fill a place.
8. MELANYA – S Clipperton (8)
Bon Hoffa filly who will make the trip down from Queensland but appears to be well out of her depth judging by her record. Comfortably won a Murwillumbah maiden first up this prep but then ventured into town, and finished third (1.6 lengths) behind Aimee in a 3yo handicap where she was on the limit weight of 54kgs. Won’t be able to match it with these fillies.
Earthquake will push forward again here with Alpha Miss handy and the pair should be able to set their own tempo. The tempo and drier surface, along with the price – $2.70, she started a similar price when demolishing the Blue Diamond field earlier this year, makes her the selection, just over Winx. Winx drew wide last start and tracked the speed, she drawn gate two this time and although this is only a small field, being the favourite she’ll be in everyone’s sights. They have it between themselves it would appear with the best chance of a blowout for mine, coming from Miss Sharapova ($17.00). Thought her run against the boys was full of merit and she has always shown good ability.
- LADY SHARAPOVA