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Emerald Kingdom faces biggest test at Eagle Farm

By Glenn Davis

Trainer Rob Heathcote believes talented sprinter Emerald Kingdom can overcome his biggest test of his short career when the gelding bids for a fifth consecutive win at Eagle Farm on Saturday.

Emerald Kingdom, a Robbie Fradd mount, drew ideally in barrier five in the Class Six Plate (1200m) but stablemate No Annamosity drew poorly in 19 and has been scratched.

Emerald Kingdom made it four straight wins and his fifth overall from only 10 starts when he strolled home by more than three lengths in similar grade at Doomben last month.  

“He took a really big step last start as he was stepping up from a Class Three to a Class Six and he did it easily and not many horses do that,” Heathcote said.

“He’s going for five in a row and the plan is to just go through the grades into open company.

“He’s definitely got the ability to make an open company horse but he is a handful to train.

“He’s such a strong-willed horse and is very big and powerful.”

Heathcote is not looking at the Brisbane winter carnival at this stage with Emerald Kingdom.

“We’ll go through the grades first with him and takes things from there,” Heathcote said.

“There’s no real plans just yet to go for the winter races.”

Meanwhile Heathcote has ruled out Bellissimi Amici running in the $500,000 QTIS Jewel (1200m) at the Gold Coast on March 14.

Bellissimi Amici, a full sister to Heathcote’s well-bred Guntantes, runs in the QTIS Two-Year-old Handicap (1300m).

The daughter of Rothesay finished fourth on debut at Doomben on January 23 before a fast finishing third to Hancora Field over 1200 metres at Eagle Farm on February 8.

“Rothfield is my QTIS Jewel horse so Bellissimi Amici won’t head there,” Heathcote said.

“But I’m still expecting her to be hard to beat.”

Bellissimi Amici is another progeny of one of the State’s best broodmares, Cantantes, who was euthansed in 2018 after producing a string of winners including the promising Guntantes.

Cantantes’ best performer was Funtantes, who like Bellissimi Amici was also trained by Heathcote.

Funtantes, a daughter of Easy Rocking, won 10 of her 50 starts including the Group 2 Champagne Classic and Listed wins in the Juanmo and Nudgee Stakes.

Cantantes also produced Excellantes who won 12 of his 54 starts including three wins at Listed level.

Racing Queensland webnews   February 20