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Clark key booking for Queensland raider

Robert Heathcote is thrilled to have secured Tim Clark to partner natural front-runner Emerald Kingdom, who will bid to enhance his flashy second-up record at Randwick. 

Tim Clark has been booked for bold front-runner Emerald Kingdom, picture sportpix.com.au

Emerald Kingdom is the horse Heathcote tipped to his golfing buddies prior to his BRC Sprint victory, declaring him over the odds as a $71 chance. He eventually started at $31 and led throughout to defeat Tofane in the Group 3 race, then was far from disgraced when eighth behind the same mare in the Stradbroke Handicap — beaten less than two lengths. 

Heathcote figures that is good enough form for Emerald Kingdom’s Sydney debut in Saturday’s Filante Handicap (1400m) at Randwick and his confidence is further buoyed by the booking of Clark. 

“What you see is what you get. He’s a big, bold, front-running horse,” Heathcote said. “I know there’s a bit of speed there, but I’ve gone for Tim Clark who has a reputation for being an excellent speed jockey. He’s got an excellent clock in his head, so if he can rate my fellow well, somewhere in the first four, I think he can pick up a cheque.” 

Emerald Kingdom finished runner-up to Golden Eagle hopeful Apache Chase when he resumed at Eagle Farm last month. His record indicates he improves significantly at his next run with four wins from six second-up starts, and Heathcote is mindful of that statistic. 

“That’s exactly the reason I ran him two weeks ago, knowing he’s got a better second-up record than first-up,” Heathcote said. “He needed that run.

“His sectionals behind Apache Chase, they were eleven lengths quicker than the average on the day, so he had to really knock up leading. But that will harden him up and I’m happy with him at home.” 

Emerald Kingdom left Brisbane on Wednesday to make the float trip south and will be met by Heathcote’s travelling foreperson Mel Sharpe, who has spent the spring in Sydney looking after Rothfire and Startantes. Startantes will also be in action at Randwick, where she takes on the mares in the $2 million The Invitation (1400m).

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