Earthquake has been cleared to take her place in the $3.5 million Golden Slipper after an early morning gallop and a late afternoon veterinary inspection.
The Slipper favourite, treated with antibiotics because of a temperature, eased the concerns of trainer Peter Snowden and jockey Kerrin McEvoy with a solid piece of work at Warwick Farm.
But, more importantly, the filly passed a Wednesday afternoon inspection at her Crown Lodge stable when examined by Racing NSW vet Craig Suann.
Suann’s inspection ended 24 hours of Golden Slipper drama for one of Australia’s highest profile stables and the long-time favourite to win the world’s premier two-year-old race.
“Essentially, the problem she had is over and she will present as a fit racehorse for Saturday,” deputy chief steward Greg Rudolph said.
Snowden told stewards on Tuesday there had been a minor spike in the filly’s temperature, forcing the Darley Australia trainer to change Earthquake’s training routine.
Race jockey Kerrin McEvoy worked Earthquake at Warwick Farm and he delivered the news Snowden and the rest of the Darley team wanted to hear.
“She gave me a nice feel in her work and it certainly points to her getting there on Saturday in really good order,” McEvoy said.
Earthquake has dominated betting on Saturday’s Golden Slipper since winning the Blue Diamond Stakes in February.
She eased marginally to $2.30 after Tuesday’s barrier draw when she drew gate 13 but remains a clear top pick over Mossfun.
“She never missed any feed and other than galloping on a Wednesday instead of a Tuesday she hasn’t missed any work at all,” McEvoy told Sky Sports Radio.
Earthquake is so far the only Golden Slipper horse to be vetted in the countdown to the race.
Mossfun has been the best-backed since the draw with the Hawkes Racing filly firming from $6 to $5.50 as more support for the Silver Slipper winner came on Wednesday.
There’s every chance the Slipper will be run on a heavy track with rain predicted for Thursday and Friday.
“The weather bureau has toughened up the forecast,” Australian Turf Club trackman Lindsay Murphy said.
Rosehill was rated in the slow range on Wednesday with a heavy dew and fog conspiring against an upgrade.
“At the moment it’s one step forward and two steps backwards. We got 14 millimetres on Sunday night which we didn’t need.”