Toowoomba trainer Richie Stephenson can hardly wait to get to the next Darley dispersal sale following the success of Emphasis.
The four-year-old will step up to a $100,000 race in a fortnight after winning at Doomben on Saturday.
Stephenson has been one of the Darling Downs top trainers for 50 years but in recent times has rarely brought horses to Brisbane unless he feels they can measure up.
He has always believed Emphasis could win a good stakes race and rates him one of his best ever horses.
Emphasis has rewarded his faith with six wins and nearly $200,000 prize money.
The gelding is bred on strong Darley lines being by Domesday out of the Lonhro mare Rainbow.
“Believe it or not I got him for only $10,000 from Darley. He was a bit of a rat bag early and they were having a few problems with him,” Stephenson said.
“But he has been great for us and I am sure he can win a good race.”
Stephenson has no doubt Emphasis will develop into a top stayer and he originally felt the gelding would be a Queensland Derby horse.
“He beat I’m Belucci over 2000 metres at Doomben and that horse went on to finish third in the Derby,” Stephenson said.
“But after he ran fifth in the Toowoomba Guineas I decided to miss the Derby to give him a chance to mature.”
Emphasis will have his next start in the $100,000 Shoot Out Quality at Eagle Farm on December 31 which is a wild card race for the Magic Millions carnival.
“But I will probably spell him after that and set him for the winter staying races,” Stephenson said.
I’m Belucci’s trainer Desleigh Forster will continue to keep his stablemates Cylinder Beach and Too Good To Refuse apart this summer after both finished second at in stakes races Doomben on Saturday.
Cylinder Beach ran second in the Brisbane Handicap while Too Good To Refuse was second in the Lough Neagh Stakes.
“They both had to come from a long way back and the winners ran near course record times,” Forster said.
“I have been keen to keep them apart all summer. Cylinder Beach can run in the Bernborough Stakes and Too Good To Refuse in the Buffering Stakes on New Year’s Eve.”