While many in the Australian racing industry have headed to Queensland for the Magic Millions race day and yearling sales this week, Toowoomba trainer Kevin Kemp has hit the road to Melbourne.
Kemp has Sold For Song in Saturday’s Listed Chester Manifold Stakes at Flemington where the mare will be the trainer’s first runner at the famous Melbourne track.
“I’ve only been to Victoria a few times in my life,” Kemp said.
Kemp has been to Flemington before and said it’s easy to remember those occasions.
“Makybe Diva,” he says.
He was at Flemington as a spectator to watch the Melbourne Cup when the champion mare won in 2003, 2004 and 2005.
“That was a fluke that we saw the three of her Melbourne Cups,” he said.
Kemp says it’s exciting to have his first Flemington runner on Saturday.
“I’m really looking forward to it,” he said.
“I’ve got a good mare and I think it’s a really nice race for her.”
Kemp had hoped Sold For Song could force her way into Saturday’s $1 million Magic Millions fillies and mares race at the Gold Coast via a wild card for the winner of the Listed Nudgee Quality (1200m) in Brisbane on December 31.
Sold For Song came from last to finish second.
So instead, Kemp hit the road to Melbourne on Wednesday with Sold For Song with an overnight stop in Dubbo in NSW.
“We picked this race out a while back if we didn’t get to the Magic Millions through the wild card,” Kemp said.
“When we got beaten last start we thought we’d head down to Melbourne to have a crack at it.”
Four-year-old Sold For Song, a dual Listed winner and multiple Group placegetter in Queensland, opened at $17 with TAB Fixed Odds on Wednesday but that quote was quickly turned in to single figures.
“We’ve got one of Melbourne’s very good jockeys in Craig Newitt. She’s got a good barrier (1) and I think 1400 metres will be a really good distance second-up for her,” Kemp said.
“She’s done really well since her first-up run so I’m looking forward to it.”
Saturday’s race will also give Kemp a guide to the future.
He is looking to Brisbane winter carnival races with Sold For Song and if things go to plan on Saturday the trainer says there are nice fillies and mares races in Melbourne next spring.