Richie Stephenson breaks usual ruleThursday 19 April 2018
Veteran Toowoomba trainer Richie Stephenson will break his usual rule and back Emphasis up quickly at Doomben.
Emphasis will tackle Saturday's Listed Tails Stakes (1600m) as a stepping stone to Group races next month.
The gelding was a first-up fourth at the Sunshine Coast last Saturday and Stephenson was thrilled with the run.
"He really hit the line and was beaten only three-quarters of a length," Stephenson said.
"It is fair to say he would have won in another 25 metres he was coming so fast.
"I usually don't back up my horses but he has done well and I have the (Group Two) Hollindale Cup in mind for him at the Gold Coast in two weeks time.
"If I didn't start him Saturday it would be three weeks between races."
Emphasis has a good record at Doomben which includes four wins and five minor placings.
His 1600m-record at the track is also good with his only unplaced run in six attempts at the distance a fifth in last year's Brisbane Handicap in which he struck trouble.
Stephenson started Emphasis in last year's Group One Doomben Cup in which he was 11th behind Sense Of Occasion.
"His only two poor runs at Doomben have been on heavy tracks," Stephenson said.
"If it is heavy on Saturday he won't run but otherwise he will be going around."
Emphasis, who cost $10,000, should have no trouble making most Group race fields as he has $312,000 prize money, much of it earned in the past 18 months.