Inch perfect ride by Darryl Bradley at Riccarton
It might have taken the length of the Riccarton straight, but that was all Darryl Bradley needed to ensure Emerald Queen went home a winner.
The North Island-based hoop, who has made a habit of sneaking down to Christchurch and heading home with a handful of winners, timed his run to perfection with the Shane Kennedy and Anna Furlong trained mare to snare the open handicap one mile event - much to the relief of punters who backed the smart galloper into $1.80 for the win.
Last, and in a hopeless position when he straightened for the long run home, Bradley never panicked and angled his charge off heels 100 metres off the post before she hit full stride to run down Captain Todd and Ishimine who had looked set to fight it out.
Good enough to win a Canterbury Belle Stakes as a three-year-old, Emerald Queen has developed into a strong mare and yesterday's win was the third of her career, and second this campaign after a victory at Ashburton in October.
Emerald Queen is owned by prominent racing breeder and owner Kevin Hickman along with Robin Cox, Warren Bell, Brian Roberts and Mene Mene.
She was one of two winners for the Kennedy/Furlong team at the meeting with Confederate coming with a sustained run for Jamie Bullard later in the day to win the rating75 1800 metre event.
Bradley too picked up a double for the meeting after winning earlier in the day courtesy of a dashing front running ride aboard Asaint Sheaint for West Melton trainers Tony and Lyn Prendergast.
Jamie Bates also picked up a winning brace at the meeting, including victory on the day's most impressive performer, Red Ripper who destroyed his rivals.
The Kenny and Lisa Rae-trained visitor had been knocking on the door of a victory for a while, but finally broke through the maiden ranks with 1 length victory.
Bates picked up his second winner in the last race of the day when he rode Chair Up to victory for Lisa Latta.
One of the most improved mares' in the country, Our Premonition claimed another win earlier in the day and set a new track record in the process.
And while the 1250 metre distance isn't often used at Riccarton, the daughter of Postponed smashed the previous best time by five seconds on her way to victory for trainers, Kevin and Pam Hughes and apprentice jockey Samantha Wynne.
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