Local galloper Kempelly has been installed the favourite for the Listed $150,000 Mainz Developments Weetwood Handicap (1200m) at Toowoomba on Saturday night after receiving a good barrier draw.
Toowoomba’s leading bookmaker Pat Kynoch said that the Kevin Kemp trained Kempelly would be installed as the top fancy after drawing barrier five in the fourteen horses field plus five emergencies.
Kempelly also ensured that he will be the one to beat after stringing together four wins on the trot, the latest a five and quarter lengths victory over the Weetwood Handicap course and distance on March 29.
“On its favourable draw and impressive win last start, Kempelly will be installed as our favourite heading into the 2014 Mainz Developments Weetwood Handicap,” Kynoch said after the barrier draw.
“I think both Miss Imagica and Rocket To Glory will be vying for the early speed.”
“The local contingency holds a strong hand heading into this year’s Mainz Developments Listed Weetwood Handicap and I hope to see them finish first, second and third.”
The top local bookmaker sees the Michael Nolan trained Miss Imagica also a strong chance after winning Toowoomba’s most prestigious sprint for the last two years, but the six year old mare has plenty of ground to make up after being beaten by more than five lengths by Kempelly last start.
As well as saddling up the favourite, Kemp will also have last start Eagle Farm winner Typhoon Red running for the stable as the top local trainer searches for his fourth win in the Toowoomba sprint after first tasting success in 2001 with Startell before Tellem won the race twice in 2005 and 2007.
Kemp also accepted with Tough Taimz but the six year old was relegated to fourth emergency and came up with barrier eighteen.
“I’ve got two runners in the starting line-up and they’ve both drawn very well,” Kemp said.
“They should both get their chance to win from their good alleys.
“I can’t split them but Miss Imagica looks our main danger.
“It’s a good field but I’ve seen a lot of so-called very good horses come here and cop a flogging.”
Former Toowoomba based trainer Tony Gollan has enjoyed enormous success since moving to Eagle Farm including Group 1 wins with Temple Of Boom and Spirit Of Boom but would dearly love to win the Weetwood Handicap on his former home track.
“The Weetwood is a race I would dearly love to win,” Gollan said.
“I have won just about every other Toowoomba feature event but this is a race that has meant so much to me since I first became fascinated by it when I was a school kid.
“I’ve finished second in it twice with Kutalo and Cariad and I know how hard it is to win.
Gollan is giving himself a good chance to break his Weetwood drought and will saddle up three runners, Rocket To Glory and Gundy Son who are coming off a third and sixth to Ollie Voliie in a 1200m Quality at the Gold Coast on March 15 and The Storeman who is going for a hat trick of wins after victories at Doomben and Eagle Farm.
The Weetwood Handicap market order with Ladbrokes.com.au has Kempelly the $4.20 favourite ahead of the top-weight Steel Zip at $6.50, That’s The One and The Storeman at $8, Gundy Son and Typhoon Red at $9 and Rocket To Glory and Miss Imagica at $10.