By Glenn Davis
Trainer Kevin Kemp has rolled the dice in his bid for a record fifth Weetwood Handicap next month with rising star Mr Marbellouz.
Kemp entered Mr Marbellouz for two races at Doomben on Saturday but has kept the four-year-old in his own grade in the Mandate Class Six Handicap (1200m).
Mr Marbellouz was also entered for the Mandate Open Handicap (1110m) but Kemp decided to avoid a clash with his other Weetwood Handicap hopeful Tisani Tomso after his rising star drew the outside barrier 13.
Kemp has won a record equalling four Weetwood Handicaps and is keen to run Mr Marbellouz in the famous 1200-metre Listed sprint on April 7.
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.
The late Billy Nielsen, who also trained at Toowoomba, held the record for the most number of Weetwood wins before Kemp joined him with his fourth win from Typhoon Red.
Kemp acknowledges the task of making the Weetwood field is considerably tougher now in the Class Six race as Mr Marbellouz has a low rating and will need a big win to get into the Weetwood.
“I was going to run him in the Open if he drew well as he’s only an 80 rater and a big win in open company might see him get an extra five or so points,” Kemp said.
“But when he drew wide there was no choice but to run against his own grade.
“He’ll need to win the Class Six by a big space and hope the handicappers give him five or more points which may see him scrap into the Weetwood.”
Tisani Tomso, a last start winner of the Dalby Newmarket, is certain of a Weetwood start.
“Both Mr Marbellouz and Tisani Tomso are coming along well,” Kemp said.
“Tisani Tomso won the Dalby Newmarket really well and will run a good race.
"When he was beaten in his previous start at Doomben, he lost both front shoes and ran last behind Malvern Estate but he wasn’t beaten far.”
Kemp has named fellow Toowoomba sprinters Publishing Power and Real Ego as the hardest to beat for Mr Marbellouz.
Racing Queensland webnews March 22