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Gold Coast wet a worry for Emerald City

Winter carnival-bound stayer Emerald City is an example of breeding not always being a good indicator of a horse handling wet tracks.

Emerald City showed he was a talent when he won four metropolitan races in a row late last year.

He is headed for the winter carnival via the Toowoomba Cup on April 8 and has been accepted for a vital lead-up run in the $100,000 Gold Coast Stakes (1800m) on Saturday.

But trainer David Vandyke is keeping a close eye on the wet weather which is moving into south east Queensland.

“We have been lucky to have had a lot of races on good tracks as he’s no good in the wet. At his first-up run at Eagle Farm this time he just didn’t handle the soft track,” Vandyke said.

“If it gets worse than a soft six on Saturday he won’t be running.”

Emerald City’s aversion to wet tracks is a surprise because he is a half brother to Destiny’s Kiss who is a noted mud lark.

“Destiny’s Kiss eats up the mud so you just never know do you,” Vandyke said.

Emerald City is part-owned by Vandyke’s friend Sam Mayer who had several smart horses when he trained in his own right in Queensland a decade ago.

“Sam trained a lot of winners and his big dream is to win a Toowoomba Cup. Hopefully we can get Emerald City there,” Vandyke said.

The Caloundra-based trainer showed he would be a power in the winter winning six barrier trials at the Sunshine Coast on Tuesday.

Heading the way were three-year-olds Deep Image and Miss Chattering.

Deep Image was under offer to Hong Kong but Vandyke was able to put together a syndicate to race him in Australia.

“He wasn’t asked to do much in the trial. We will give him his first start this time in a Class Three Plate in a fortnight. As the winner of one race he will get in with a light weight,” Vandyke said.

“Deep Image will then be entered for some of the better races in the winter.”

Miss Chattering will have her first run in a restricted class race at Ipswich in a fortnight.

“She will also be entered for some of the better races in the winter and I hope she can get up to 1600 metres,” he said.

Two-year-old Eminent, a winner at Doomben last Saturday, will trial on March 28 before heading to Sydney for the Fernhill Handicap on April 8 and possibly the Group One Champagne Stakes a week later.

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