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Redhaze digs deep to kick-start family celebrations

Redhaze (centre) does best for apprentice Nicholas Keal to edge out Quiero (inside) and Canungra Kid in today's Maiden Handicap (1200m) at Clifford Park.
Redhaze (centre) does best for apprentice Nicholas Keal to edge out Quiero (inside) and Canungra Kid in today's Maiden Handicap (1200m) at Clifford Park. Nev Madsen

TOOWOOMBA gelding Redhaze sparked an on-course family celebration when he rewarded his patient connections with a break-through victory at Clifford Park today.

Redhaze ($2 fav) cracked it for his first win with a strong-finishing effort for apprentice Nick Keal in the Homewood Cottages Maiden Handicap (1300m).

Redhaze claimed leader and runner-up Quiero ($7) at the 150-metre mark but had to dig deep for Keal on the line to get the better of the debutant for his short-1/2 head victory.

Canungra Lad ($21) ran home solidly to be a further neck back third.

Quiero's narrow defeat denied trainer Tony Sears a third win for the day after he ealier scored with Bonsho and Tycoon Ace at Doomben.

Redhaze's victory came after 14 starts and five minor placings but successful trainer Kevin Kemp was forgiving of the four-year-old's delay in finding the winner's stall.

"He's a good honest horse and he ran some nice placings in QTIS races back in his QTIS days and it's very pleasing to see him get his reward today,” Kemp said.

"He's owned by all my cousins and my wife (Judy) so that just makes it a bit more special for everyone.

"He's by Red Dazzler and they just keep winning races so hopefully there is a couple more wins in store for him.”

JOB DONE: Winning rider Nick Keal.
JOB DONE: Winning rider Nick Keal. Nev Madsen

Kemp reserved some added praise for the winning effort of his stable apprentice Nick Keal whose 3kg allowance gave Redhaze a 5kg pull over the runner-up.

"It was an 11 out of 10 ride from Nick and he deserves a lot of credit,” Kemp said.

"He's really starting to go places.”

Kemp wrapped up a winning double on the seven-race card when Rock 'N' Rhumba ($3.70) broke his run of outs in the Wimmers Premium Soft Drinks Class 1 Handicap (1625m).

Rock 'N' Rhumba rewarded a good Kenji Yoshida ride to notch his first victory since November last year with a two-length win over In Kobe ($5.50).

Soltinho Lad ($2.25) continued the drought-breaking trend when he also scored his first win for nine-months with a popular victory for favourite punters in the Toowoomba Mountaineers Class 1 Handicap (1000m).

The four-year-old completed a successful seven days for Toowoomba trainer Richie Stephenson when apprentice Michael Schrapel lifted him to a half-head win over Five Spices ($7).

Stephenson was aslo successful with first starter Our Nick at Clifford Park last Saturday.

Yoshida completed a multiple-winning night with the Geoff Purcell-trained Avalanche Warning ($8.50) handing him the first leg of a winning double with a half-length victory over $1.60 favourite Charlie's Dust in the Nuturf Maiden Handicap (870m).

Topics:  clifford park horse racing kevin kemp nick keal


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