By Glenn Davis
Trainer Lyle Wright is hopeful consistent filly Emilee’s Empire can shed her bridesmaid tag at Mackay on Tuesday.
The daughter of Carrara has finished second in four of her five starts and will be out to end the run of placings in the QTIS Two-Year-Old Maiden Handicap (1200m).
The QTIS Two-Year-Old Maiden Handicap is the opening race on a bumper 10-race program which heralds the start of zonal racing throughout Queensland due to coronavirus.
Coronavirus has already claimed the Brisbane winter carnival which has been officially abandoned and replaced by standard metropolitan race meetings with selected feature races.
Racing Queensland and Queensland Government officials have declared racing can proceed but has divided the State into five regions consolidating races to 15 racetracks across the State.
Wright trained for 10 years in Mackay before relocating to Rockhampton where he now has 10 horses in work.
“The decision to divide the State into zones was good and it at least keeps us in a job,” Wright said.
Emilee’s Empire went through the Capricorn Yearling sales but is not eligible for the $75,000 Capricorn Yearling Sales Classic (1200m) at Rockhampton next Tuesday.
“I bought her privately for $3,000 after she was passed in at the sales and she’s been a good buy as she’s already won more than $30,000,” Wright said.
Emilee’s Empire is coming off a last start second to Silver Lucy when she was beaten less than two lengths on a heavy track at Rockhampton on March 5.
At her previous start she finished in a similar position behind the Kevin Hansen-trained War Bugle in a Maiden Handicap (1200m) at Mackay on February 22.
Wright is confident Emilee’s Empire can finally breakthrough for her first win.
“If she lives up to what she’s been doing she should nearly win,” he said.
“Unfortunately, she’s not eligible for the big Capricorn sales race next week as I never paid up for her.
“She’s racing well but she just lacks a bit of class and she’ll go for a break after this race.
“She’s drawn awkwardly but she’s got good gate speed to get across.”
Wright has named topweight Ask Me Tomorrow as the main threat to Emilee’s Empire.
Ask Me Tomorrow is also trained in Rockhampton by Tom Smith, son of popular Rockhampton trainer Fred Smith.
Ask Me Tomorrow is resuming after finishing second at his only start at Callaghan Park in November.
Racing Queensland webnews March 30