We reported earlier today that John O’Shea would be keeping a close eye on the NRL finals match between Brisbane and Manly tonight while he races at Canterbury, but it won’t be a one way street.
Up and coming filly Emmalene will run in race six when the Friday night series resumes this evening and she carries the hopes of some of the NRL’s most high profile personalities.
Former Queensland player and current Footy Show host Darryl Brohman is among the owners as well as NSW coach Ricky Stuart, former NSW player Laurie Daley and prominent player manager Steve Gillis.
Alan Stephenson, one of the driving forces behind the NSW origin team is also a 50 percent shareholder.
Trained by the Queensland based Liam Birchley Emmalene has had just the single start for a one and a half length victory at the Sunshine Coast.
The syndicate has big hopes for the three year old and the 1100m TJ’s Champagne Bar Handicap is the next step on that journey.
She was bought for more than $100,000 from the Magic Millions sale in 2010 after the syndicate made a very drastic extension to their budget.
“We gave Liam a budget of $60,000 to buy a yearling for us,” Stephenson said.
“The opening bid for the first one Liam liked was $60,000 so we were out of action pretty quickly.
“We adjourned to the bar for a few hours and doubled the budget. Liam picked up this filly for $110,000.”
Emmalene was accepted for both Doomben and Canterbury however Birchley felt the trip south was worth it for better suited conditions.
“I was a bit reluctant to go into a 1200m race not having started for six weeks,” Birchley said.
“With the weather in Brisbane over the past week the Doomben track is likely to be pretty firm and that was another consideration.
“This filly has had a bit of a history with shin soreness.”
If she were to be successful in Sydney tonight the trainer is likely to keep pushing south and take on some black type racing in Melbourne later in the carnival.
It’s not a ridiculous prospect given she easily accounted for State Of Wealth in her first run and that horse will line up at Group 2 level in the Stan Fox Stakes tomorrow at Rosehill.
That is on the back of two straight city victories as well so the form around Emmalene looks very strong leading into tonight’s race.