For a former taxi driver Kevin Kemp is making a good fist of the training caper.
Kemp, who turns 65 later this month, hopes for an early birthday celebration when stable favourite Sold For Song and Plumaro line up on Magic Millions day at the Gold Coast on Saturday.
Both were cheapie buys at $2,500 and $20,000 respectively and between them have won almost $900,000 in prizemoney.
Sold For Song won her first race in more than two years at Doomben last month and is a $26 chance in the $1 million Magic Millions Cup (1400m) while Plumaro is at $34 for the $2 million Magic Millions Guineas (1400m).
Kemp has a soft spot for Sold For Song and has declared both runners definite chances.
“Sold For Song has taken me to places I would never have been to,” Kemp said.
“It goes to show you don’t have to spend the big money to get a good horse.
“I don’t think the Magic Millions Cup is any harder than the other day when Sold For Song beat Most Important.
“And the Gold Coast is going to suit her and Plumaro 10 times better than Doomben.”
Kemp said Plumaro was never comfortable when ninth to Boomsara in the Group 3 Vo Rogue Plate (1350m) at Doomben on December 29.
“Plumaro likes to come around horses not up the inside like she tried to do last time,” Kemp said.
“Sold For Song beat Most Important as well as Snippet’s Love and Victorem last time and she’ll be very competitive if she gets into the clear at some stage in the straight.”
Kemp has consistently raced Sold For Song in elite company throughout her career and is unfazed about being up against racing royalty such as Gai Waterhouse, Chris Waller and Peter and Paul Snowden in the Magic Millions Cup.
Kemp has never won a Group 1 race but holds the record as the winner of four Listed Weetwood Handicaps on his home track in Toowoomba.
Kemp would love to be among the big players at the Magic Millions sales but admits his client base is too small.
“I’ve been training for around 30 years and it’s hard for smaller trainers like me to buy horses at the Magic Millions with all the big-name players here,” he said.
“But I’ve got an eye on one which was passed in on Wednesday so we’ll sit back and see what happens there.”