Golden Slipper favourite Earthquake 'saves best'

IF Peter Snowden is right, rival Golden Slipper runners will struggle to catch odds-on favourite Earthquake in Saturday's big race at Rosehill.

The trainer, who will saddle up his last bunch of Slipper runners for Darley on Saturday after leaving the stable to train on his own from May 1, says the unbeaten filly will finally peak in the $3.5m race.

Jockey Kerrin McEvoy has ridden plenty of star Darley two-year-olds in his career, and he too feels the filly will be at her best on Saturday.

"It is very exciting to be involved with a filly like her," McEvoy said.

"She had a freshen-up between the Blue Diamond and her last win [Reisling Stakes] and she is ready to peak.

"There is plenty of quality there and she is a filly that saves her best for race day."

After her first start win at Randwick late last year, the jockey who rode her that day, Christian Reith, described her as "the next Guelph", much to the amazement of everyone.

Reith's comments have been not only backed up by the filly herself, but she's outdone them by doing what Guelph was not able to do and win the Blue Diamond.

Now she's trying to put another one over the former Darley star filly and also win the Slipper after Guelph had a luckless run in the race last year before going on to win four Group 1s.

Darley will have three Slipper runners with the favourite joined by Ghibellines and Memorial.

Gai Waterhouse will also have two runners - $1.35 million yearling Valentia, a son of Fastnet Rock, and Law.

Team Hawkes have the second favourite, Mossfun, which would have loved the Slipper to have been run last week on the wet track.

Waterhouse doesn't believe there is as bigger gap between the fillies and colts, as the market would indicate, and leans towards Valentia.

"Whatever beats Valentia will be winning the Golden Slipper," Waterhouse said. "His last two wins have been very good. He is a strong colt that is going to get better as the races get further, but he is ready to win a Golden Slipper.

"He reminds me of Ha Ha [Waterhouse's Slipper winner in 2001].

"She was a top-priced filly in her year and then came right on the day and won the Slipper. He has the same qualities."

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