Vastly improved stayer Emerald City could have earned himself a trip back to Sydney by completing a hat-trick of Brisbane wins.
Trained by David Vandyke, Emerald City beat a handy field of stayers in Saturday’s Open Hcp (2000m) at Doomben.
Emerald City was coming back in distance from 2400m and with a lack of genuine staying races in Brisbane for open company horses, his trainer is considering some of the summer distance races in Sydney.
Vandyke, who moved to the Sunshine Coast earlier this year, travelled to Sydney and Melbourne this spring with Yankee Rose who won the Spring Champion Stakes and finished third in the Cox Plate before her Oaks failure after which she was found to have a bone chip.
He was back with his home team on Saturday including Emerald City.
“It is hard to turn him out for a spell when he is racing so well,” Vandyke said.
“He was coming back from 2400 metres but we had been able to freshen him up.”
Vandyke said Emerald City, raced by his good friend Sam Mayer, had originally been considered a Metropolitan Handicap horse.
“But he went off the boil and we brought him up here where we thought he might be a Townsville Cup or Rockhampton Cup horse in the winter,” Vandyke said.
“He wasn’t ready for that but he has won three metropolitan races in a row and that is very hard to do.”
Vandyke gets an extra buzz each time Mayer gets a winner.
“His last seven starters for me have produced seven winners. Invincible Express has won four in a row and now Emerald City has won three on the trot,” Vandyke said.
“Sam was the one who got me back into training about six years ago with a horse called Lamasery.”
“He kept at me to come back to training and I eventually did it.”
Emerald City was bred by well known owner Nick Moraitis and is a half brother to tough stayer Destinys Kiss.