By Glenn Davis
Gun sprinter Mr Marbellouz is walking a Weetwood Handicap tightrope after stretching his winning sequence to four at Doomben on Saturday.
Mr Marbellouz, ridden by apprentice Jag Guthmann-Chester, led all the way to down fellow Toowoomba sprinter Publishing Power by 2-1/4 lengths in the Mandate Class Six Handicap (1200m).
Ringo’s A Rockstar was third, a further 1-1/4 lengths away.
Trainer Kevin Kemp is keen to start Mr Marbellouz in the Listed Weetwood Handicap (1200m) at Toowoomba on April 7 but is worried the four-year-old’s rating will be too low to make the field.
Kemp also entered Mr Marbellouz for the Mandate Open Handicap (1100m) in the belief a big win in open grade would encourage handicappers to lift his rating high enough to secure a Weetwood start.
But he was forced to scratch Mr Marbellouz after he drew badly in the open company race.
“I’ll still nominate him for the Weetwood if he does well during the week,” Kemp said.
“He’s only a borderline chance of getting in but he beat a really good field today.
“Ben Currie’s horse Publishing Power is a very good horse and we beat him convincingly.”
The win was a career milestone for Guthmann-Chester who notched up his 20th metropolitan win and now forfeits his 3kg city claim after earlier scoring aboard Yarrapower in the Mandate Benchmark 70 Handicap.
“We’ve been having a bit of luck lately with Jag,” Kemp said.
“That was his sixth ride for me for four wins and two seconds.”
However, Guthmann-Chester's win was soured in the stewards' room after being suspended for careless riding aboard Rudy in the Mandate Open (1630m) but he will return in time for the Weetwood.
Kemp shares the record of four Weetwood wins with the late Billy Nielsen and already has Tisani Tomso qualified for the famous Downs sprint.
Kemp won his first Weetwood Handicap with Startell in 2001 before claiming three more with
Tellem in 2005 and 2007 and Typhoon Red in 2014.
Mr Marbellouz has now won six of his seven starts with his only defeat at Ipswich in August last year and has won more than $141,000 in prizemoney.
Meanwhile Toowoomba trainer Ben Currie ended a frustrating day at the office when Amanaat claimed the Mandate Open Handicap (1100m).
Ridden by apprentice Michael Murphy, Amanaat powered home to edge out Hi I’m Back by three-quarters of a length with Hard Stride, third, a half neck away.
The former Victorian sprinter has now won six of his eight starts for Currie since transferring from trainer David Hayes.
Currie saddled up five previous runners at Doomben and was runner-up twice with Now You See and Publishing Power.
Currie bought Amanaat for only $5,000 as a tried horse in Melbourne and has trained more than 100 winners this season to lead the Queensland Trainers’ Premiership.
Racing Queensland webnews March 24