Sunshine Coast trainer David Vandyke has no doubts that Emerald City’s stout staying pedigree will see him run out a strong two miles in the Listed $150,000 Queensland Cup (3200m) on his home track track on Saturday.
Emerald City has drawn barrier twelve in the sixteen horse Queensland Cup field with Tegan Harrison to ride and Vandyke is hoping that the six year old will be able to recapture his 2016 form that saw him win four races on the trot at Doomben and Eagle Farm ranging from 2000m to 2400m.
“He had a good campaign winning four straight races last campaign when he struck a series of good tracks but he’s struggled a bit this time in on wet tracks,” Vandyke told Racing Queensland News.
“It’s taken a while to get him right.”
Saturday’s staying test will be the first time that Emerald City will tackle the two miles but Vandyke pointed out that his half-brother Destiny’s Kiss was a winner over the 3200m in the 2014 Stayers Cup at Randwick.
“He’s a half-brother to Destiny’s Kiss who won over two miles at Randwick,” Vandyke said.
“His mother can produce two milers.”
Emerald City was beaten less than a length three starts back when second in a 2200m Handicap at Doomben on April 22 but was then well beaten when eleventh to Chocante in the Group 2 $300,000 Evergreen Turf Brisbane Cup (2200m) at Doomben on June 10.
The Bernardini gelding was then given a pass mark by Vandyke when fifth to Supply And Demand in the Listed $175,000 The Pump House Caloundra Cup (2400m) at the Sunshine Coast on July 1.
“The track was a little choppy for him in the Brisbane Cup but his run in the Caloundra Cup was good when he plugged away,” Vandyke said.
Caloundra Cup runner up My Diamantine has drawn the outside gate in the sixteen horse Queensland Cup field with Jeff Lloyd sticking with the Brian Smith trained mare.
War Baby has also drawn a wide barrier at fourteen with Luke Tarrant booked to ride but the Kelvin Hickmott trained mare is also an acceptor in the Listed $160,000 McKimms Real Estate Grafton Cup (2350m) at Grafton on Thursday.
War Baby isn’t far off another win and after scoring a runaway win in a 2150m BenchMark 80 Handicap on Ipswich Cup Day, finished third at her next two starts in the Group 3 $200,000 Carlton Mid Tattersall’s Cup (2200m) at Doomben and in the Caloundra Cup.
Sydney’s leading trainer Chris Waller will saddle up two runners in the Queensland Cup, Soviet Courage from barrier three with Jim Byrne on board and Richard Of Yorke to jump from gate eleven for Larry Cassidy.