Robert Heathcote looks set to continue his freakish summer success at Brisbane meetings with vastly improved Emerald Kingdom leading the way at Eagle Farm.
Heathcote is rapidly closing in on 1500 career winners and 1000 metropolitan victories.
However, he has exceeded even his own ambitions this summer with 20 metropolitan winners in the past three months.
He has had a winner at every meeting at Eagle Farm and Doomben since missing out on December 7.
The only Saturday meetings where he has also missed a visit to the winner’s circle were the two Gold Coast meetings and a Sunshine Coast fixture.
“I have had a bit more air in my tyres of late but my staff and owners have all played a key role,” Heathcote said.
One of the stars for Heathcote has been Emerald Kingdom who has accepted in the Class 6 (1200m) and the Open Hcp (1400m).
At his last start he was far too strong in a Class 6 at Eagle Farm over 1200m when carrying 57.5 kg.
“I will probably start him in the 1400m open as he has a big weight and bad barrier in the other race,” Heathcote said.
“But I will probably wait until Wednesday night to make a final decision.”
Emerald Kingdom would be starting at 1400m for the first time on Saturday but Heathcote has been keen to get him out to the trip.
The gelding seems to have overcome his habit of getting stirred up pre-race and provided he keeps calm Heathcote has no worries about 1400m.
“I have said it several times but he is like my other horse Deep Impact who went from restricted class to winning the Buffering Stakes,” Heathcote said.
“They are both big horses who have taken time to realise what it is all about.”
Robbie Fradd will ride Emerald Kingdom in either race and it is chance for him to continue his great strike rate with Heathcote.
Fradd has had 22 winners from 68 rides for Heathcote this season at a strike rate of 32 per cent.
Heathcote believes if Emerald Kingdom continues to improve he could tackle some of the better races in the winter.