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Richie has emphasis on Cup

Emphasis’ liking for the 2000 metres at Doomben has convinced trainer Richie Stephenson to take on some of Australia’s best horses.

The gelding will be the rank outsider in the Group One Doomben Cup but Stephenson is not fazed.

Stephenson has trained hundreds of winners from his Toowoomba base over the past 40 years but rarely has a runner in a Group One race.

“My last Group One runner was Royal Samurai in a Stradbroke Handicap about 25 years ago. A horse called Rendoo fell in front of him. Royal Samurai had to hurdle the fallen horse but still finished close up,” Stephenson recalled.

“I rarely have expensive horses but Emphasis deserves a go against the best.”

“I know it is weight-for-age and there are a stack of Group One performers in the race. But both times Emphasis has gone around in a Doomben 2000 metre race he has been very good,”

Stephenson has secured Ronnie Stewart to ride Emphasis.

“Ron has ridden a stack of double digit priced winners since he came here late last year. Who knows we might be the next one,” Stephenson said.

“I might be shooting for the stars but if you aren’t in it you can’t win it.”

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