Earlswood’s Quest for Redemption in Golden Mile

A little over 12 months ago Maddie Raymond and connections of Earlswood were on top of the world after the Australian debut win at Caulfield.

Success in the Group 3 Carlyon Cup (1600m) at Caulfield had the team looking forward to the spring later in the year, but seven months later it was a different story.

Earlswood failed to live up to the lofty expectations and after two runs, finishing last on both occasions, the five-year-old was sent for another break.

After one run over an unsuitable trip, Earlswood heads to the Listed Golden Mile (1600m) at Bendigo on Saturday looking to turn his form around.

Earlswood was specked in the betting from $61 to $26 in the Group 3 Shaftesbury Avenue Handicap (1400m) at Flemington on March 11, before finishing 11th, which surprised Raymond.

“The 1400 was always going to be well short of his best, but he needed a bit of a blowout of the cobwebs,” Raymond said.

“He had trialled up quite sharply, but he was always going to be a horse after having decent break, and being a stallion, that needed a bit of racing under his belt.”

Raymond said there had been genuine excuses for Earlswood’s poor performances in the spring.

“He came out of it with a few little niggles, so he had a few genuine excuses, but the time has allowed those things to sort themselves out,” Raymond said.

“He’s not had that long time off before, so we’re just taking short steppingstones to get him back.”

While Earlswood won over 1600m at his Australian debut at Caulfield in February last year, Raymond is expecting the entire to be looking for extra ground on Saturday.

“The mile will still be short of his best and he’s going to need a couple of runs to find his best form, but I expect improvement on his first-up run at Flemington,” Raymond said.

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