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Tiny two-year-old Emphatically is far from the best horse in trainer Ciaron Maher’s stable but she is the toughest.

The filly will be having her ninth start when she chases black type in the Listed Hampden Stakes (1200m) at Doomben on Saturday.

The Melbourne trainer was in Brisbane on Thursday to watch Stradbroke Handicap favourite Azkadellia win a trial at Eagle Farm as the renovated track was used competitively for the first time in almost two years.

“Emphatically isn’t very big but she is tough,” Maher said.

“When I bought her I told the owners I hoped she would make a two-year-old and she has given them plenty of fun.

“She has been placed at Group Three company but it would be nice to get a win with her.”

Emphatically had her first Queensland start when fifth in the Listed Ken Russell Stakes at the Gold Coast two weeks ago.

Maher is still deciding whether to run Azkadellia in the Doomben 10,000 next Saturday or go straight to the Stradbroke on June 11.

“I want to get a good idea of what weight she would get if she won another Group One race,” he said.

Weights for the Stradbroke will be released after the Doomben 10,000.

Maher has no doubts Eagle Farm and the Stradbroke will suit Azkadellia better than Doomben and the weight-for-age 10,000.

“She’s a get-back horse and she is much better suited at Eagle Farm as you saw in that trial.”

“But she is thriving up here. I hadn’t seen her for a week and she looks particularly well.”

 
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