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  4. Mr Marbellouz pleases Kemp as Weetwood countdown begins

Mr Marbellouz pleases Kemp as Weetwood countdown begins

By Glenn Davis

Toowoomba trainer Kevin Kemp will be guided by Mr Marbellouz’s performance at Doomben on Saturday before deciding if the gelding starts again before next month’s Listed Weetwood Handicap.

Mr Marbellouz will step out for only his second start in 12 months in the Open Handicap over 1110 metres.

The seven-year-old was struck down with a virus after finishing eighth to Man Booker in the Listed Eye Liner Stakes at Ipswich in June last year, with his comeback further delayed after he struck himself.

Mr Marbellouz produced a huge effort in his comeback when he led and faded late to finish third to the Tony Gollan-trained Just Orm over 1000 metres at Doomben on August 8.

Kemp was delighted with Mr Marbellouz’s return and is not concerned with the second-up hoodoo.

Mr Marbellouz has won two of his three starts second up and was placed on the other occasion.

He also is a track specialist with five wins and four placings from 10 starts at Doomben.

“I thought his run two weeks ago was terrific considering it was his first run in 12 months,” Kemp said.

“He pulled up well after the race and he’s ready to go again.

“I’ve got the Weetwood in mind for him next month but there’s a chance this could be his last run before it.

“There’s another race for him in two weeks but if he races well, he could go straight into the Weetwood and a month between runs won't hurt him.” 



Kemp has won a record-equalling four Weetwood Handicaps and sees the opportunity to hold the record on his own as a hometown honour.

“It’s a big thrill just to win one Weetwood on your home track in front of your home crowd,” Kemp said.

“To do it four times has been very special and it would be one of my greatest moments if I could make it five.”

Kemp won his first Weetwood Handicap with Startell in 2001 before claiming a double 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 greatest number of Weetwood wins before Kemp joined him with Typhoon Red’s victory.

Kemp has retained stable apprentice Madeline Wishart for Mr Marbellouz and rates topweight Just Orm as the main danger.

“It’s a very hard race again and Just Orm beat us fair and square last time and looks the danger but I also think Tony Sears’ horse, Tycoon Ace, will race a lot better," he said.

Tycoon Ace was also resuming when the gelding finished fifth behind Just Orm and Mr Marbellouz at Doomben last start.