Trainer left bemused after 'real handful' wins
TRAINER Rob Heathcote is rarely stuck for words but he was left bemused after Emerald Kingdom won the Canadian Club Plate (1000m) at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
Emerald Kingdom had won his previous start at Doomben after going into a meltdown in the pre-race parade ring.
Heathcote was confident Emerald Kingdom would be much better behaved returning to his home track of Eagle Farm.
However, Emerald Kingdom had other ideas and put on a performance for the ages before going on to the track.
"It took five of us to get the saddle on him. He was a real handful," Heathcote said.
"I don't know. At home you can hand feed him carrots and lead him around on a bit of cotton.
"He gets here and he is a different horse."
Stewards allowed Emerald Kingdom to head straight to the barriers ahead of his rivals, who were in their pre-race parade, in an effort to calm the highly strung gelding.
Emerald Kingdom ($5.50) was trapped four wide throughout but still managed to defeat Wandabaa ($11) by a short neck.
"I think he might be a very good horse once he gets out to 1200m and matures," Heathcote said.
"He reminds me of another of my horses in Deep Image. He is a big hard-going horse who will get better with time."