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    Filly looking to join elite fraternity Filly looking to join elite fraternity

    EMERALD STRIDE - Photo Ashlea Brennan

    CLASSY youngster Emerald Stride will be aiming to join an elite fraternity when she heads to Maryborough on Sunday. Should Emerald Stride emerge triumphant... Filly looking to join elite fraternity

    CLASSY youngster Emerald Stride will be aiming to join an elite fraternity when she heads to Maryborough on Sunday.

    Should Emerald Stride emerge triumphant in the Victoria Trotters’ Derby, she will become just the third squaregaiter to complete the Redwood Classic/Derby double.

    Former top youngster Wagon Apollo was the ground breaker in 1993 and ’94 followed by Kyvalley Road in 2002 and ’03.

    Wagon Apollo was trained by legendary horseman Graeme Lang, while his son Chris prepared Kyvalley Road.

    A pacing-bred daughter of Bettors Delight, Emerald Stride is in perfect condition to achieve the feat according to trainer David Miles.

    “I couldn’t be happier with her going in the Derby,” Miles said. “I gave her a freshen-up following the Oaks and it has done her the world of good.

    “She will be first-up for nine weeks but she has had plenty of work put into her so is fit and ready to go.”

    Despite her impressive record of seven wins and three placings from 12 starts, Emerald Stride is among the outsiders in betting markets.

    With the three-year-old drawn the inside of the second row TAB Fixed Odds has her listed at $21.

    New Zealand raider Liberty Stride is the $2.15 favourite from gate four.

    Although trained on opposite sides of the Tasman, the fillies are owned by New South Wales-based Emilio and Maria Stride Pty Ltd.

    Citing Liberty Stride as the one to beat, Miles stated he is happy with Emerald Stride’s draw.

    “I think she has a chance to get a good run along the pegs from there,” Miles said. “If it works out that way then the draw isn’t as bad as it looks.

    “I’d rather draw there than five or six for example.

    “Phil Williamson is the leading trainer of trotters in the southern hemisphere, so if he has a big opinion of Liberty Stride, then you know she is good.

    “That alone makes her the way to beat regardless of the draw.”

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    Paul Courts

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