IT HAS taken a year longer than planned but Toowoomba five-year-old Typhoon Red finally gets the chance next month to add his name to Clifford Park's honour board.
Typhoon Red is aiming to win the first $150,000 Mainz Developments Weetwood Handicap (1200m) run on Toowoomba Turf Club's new StrathAyr turf track.
The Weetwood will be run at Clifford Park on Saturday, April 12.
The Red Dazzler gelding loomed into contention for the famous Listed sprint with a timely Eagle Farm win last Saturday.
The Open Handicap victory over 1500 metres boosted Typhoon Red's handicap rating which all but guarantees him a place in the 14-horse field.
He narrowly missed a start in last year's Weetwood where he was listed as a third emergency despite his imposing record on the Clifford Park synthetic track.
Trainer Kevin Kemp intends nominating Tough Taimz and Kempelly for the Weetwood along with Typhoon Red as he bids for his fourth win in the event.
Kemp won his first Weetwood in 2001 with Startell before Tellem delivered him victories in 2005 and 2007.
"We'll nominate the three of them but Typhoon Red looks the only one certain of getting a start," Kemp said yesterday.
"He missed getting a run last year on the Cushion Track which he raced so well on.
"But he's taken that form on to the grass now and he's earned his chance at this year's race.
"It's a pity for him the race has had a late change in distance from 1300 to 1200 metres.
"We would have planned a different path towards the race for him had we known earlier.
"But 1200 metres is what we have to face and with some good pace on in the race, the best horse on the day should get their chance to win.
"Hopefully it will be him.
"I would love to see Kempelly get a start. He's in great form but I don't think his rating will be high enough to make the field.
"Tough Taimz has a good record at Clifford Park and his win was strong here last Saturday night.
"I'd expect him to race well if he could get a start."
Dual Weetwood winner Miss Imagica stepped up her title defence preparation at Clifford Park yesterday.
Miss Imagica finished fourth for trainer Michael Nolan in a Class 2 and Open barrier trial over 925 metres.
The six-year-old won the final two Weetwoods run on the former cushion track surface.
2014 WEETWOOD HANDICAP
1200 metres, Clifford Park
Saturday, April 12
Career: 20-9-1-3. $133,600
Trainer: Kevin Kemp
Jockey: Nozi Tomizawa