Four-time Weetwood Handicap-winning trainer Kevin Kemp is looking to Kempelly to put himself in line for a third try at Toowoomba’s premier sprint.
But first he needs a good performance in Saturday’s $100,000 Gold Coast Stakes to cement a start in next month’s race on his home track.
Kempelly was second to stablemate Typhoon Red in the 2014 Weetwood and last year was an unlucky sixth.
But because he hasn’t won since taking out a Doomben handicap in April last year, his rating has slipped to 85.
“At the moment he would be right on the edge of missing out on a Weetwood start. It seems to be the race everyone is aiming at,” Kemp said.
Kempelly showed he was coming back to form with a good fourth behind Mana Manu at Doomben last week.
“It was his second run back from a spell and he did a good job. He has drawn well on Saturday, the soft track will help, and he has the leading jockey in Jim Orman,” Kemp said.
“Like all Toowoomba trainers I want to win the Weetwood every year so hopefully Kempelly will get another chance.”
Kempelly will have strong opposition on Saturday from Tony Gollan-trained stablemates Casual Choice and Whiskey Allround.
Casual Choice has won twice for the Eagle Farm trainer since coming from Sydney.
“Casual Choice has come along well since his first-up win and a wet track won’t worry him at all,” Gollan said.
Michael Cahill goes on Casual Choice while Jim Byrne will partner Whiskey Allround.
“Jim can get Whiskey Allround going forward from the barrier. I won the Gold Coast Stakes with Rocket To Glory last year and I should be thereabouts again this year,” Gollan said.
Brisbane’s premier trainer continued his quest for a record number of metropolitan wins when Gracida won at Doomben on Wednesday taking him to 69.5 wins for the season.