Flying grey Upstart Pride earned himself a chance to win back-to-back Goldmarket Handicaps with his runaway win at Doomben.
Upstart Pride ($9.50) bounced to the lead from the inside barrier and went on to beat Il Mio Destino ($7.50) by to lengths with a long neck to Malvern Estate ($4.40) third in the Young Members Handicap (1200m).
Upstart Pride had been well beaten at his two previous starts but trainer Michael Nolan said there were plenty of excuses.
“He went to the Gold Coast on Magic Millions day and it was very hot and the track was very firm,” Nolan said.
“Then he came down here last month and the track was a bog. He is a horse who likes it just soft enough as it was today.”
Nolan said Upstart Pride would contest the Listed Goldmarket at the Gold Coast on March 17 which he won last year.
“He won’t run in the Weetwood at Toowoomba (on April 7) and I will rely on Jumbo Prince in that are. But there is plenty coming up for Upstart Pride.”
The win gave apprentice Boris Thornton a double and Nolan was full of praise for him.
“It is good to have him up here from Melbourne and he is starting to get a real reputation,” Nolan added.
Toowoomba trainer Kevin Kemp said he was perplexed about where to head with Mr Marbellouz who made it five wins from six starts in the Class 6 Plate (1200m).
There had been a doubt about Mr Marbellouz at 1200m but the gelding made a mockery of that winning by four lengths.
“He has only had six starts. So I don’t want to overtax him. Maybe another Class 6 in a fortnight but in the long term he is very exciting,” Kemp said.
It was a big day for Kemp who also had impressive two-year-old winner Plumaro.
Former central Queensland apprentice Quayde Krogh rode his first metropolitan winner on Martinelli ($15) in the Bill Clarke Memorial Handicap (1200m).
Krogh has linked with former champion jockey Chris Munce after originally being apprenticed on the Gold Coast and then riding out of Rockhampton for the past two years.