Champion trainer Emma Stewart is about to flex her stable muscle in the countdown to the TAB Eureka.

Stewart and co-trainer Clayton Tonkin already have multiple Group 1 winners. The Lost Storm is a confirmed runner in the world’s richest harness racing via the Aaron Bain Racing & Summit Bloodstock slot.

They are also optimistic of Victoria Derby winner Petracca and possibly the lightly-raced and untapped High Above landing slots in the $2.1mil race at Club Menangle on September 7.

Petracca’s managing owner Danny Zavitsanos has a slot in the TAB Eureka and many expect him to go with his own star.

But Zavitsanos’ slot is just one of five remaining in the 10-horse field after pre-post favourite Frankie Ferocious was locked into the TAB slot yesterday (Wednesday).

While the heat is off the The Lost Storm, who is likely to race at Melton next Saturday night, Stewart knows Petracca and High Above will need to earn their stripes. Both haven’t raced since last year.

Petracca and High Above were due to trial at Ballarat on Tuesday, but heavy rain saw the trials cancelled, and Stewart settled on some private workouts with several of her stable stars at Ballarat instead.

“Both Petracca and High Above worked terrific and in quick times,” she said. 

“We couldn’t be happier with where they are both at. They’re ready to head to the races.”

Petracca hasn’t raced since winning the Group 1 Victoria Derby at Melton on October 14, last year.

High Above, a half-brother to the freakish Ride High with three wins from just four starts, has been away from the track even longer. His last start was a Ballarat win on August 18, last year.

“He’s so talented. He’s got incredible high speed,” Stewart said. 

Unlike many of Stewart’s stars, Petracca and High Above won’t be heading to next month’s huge Queensland Constellations at Albion Park.

The Lost Storm will have that gig, aiming at the $350,000 Group 1 Rising Sun, where he will meet other TAB Eureka confirmed starters and heavyweights like Frankie Ferocious and Extreme Sea.

Stewart said finding suitable lead-up races has been difficult for The Lost Storm since his narrow first-up win in the Bold David free-for-all at Melton on May 25.

“We might even take him down to Tassie; there are a couple of races that would suit him down there before he heads to Queensland,” she said.

“We’re not taking any of ours to Brisbane until the week leading into the Rising Sun (July 13).”

The opinions expressed in The Forum are those of the author and may not be attributed to or represent policies of Harness Racing Victoria, which is the state authority and owner of