Kembla Grange trainer Kerry Parker wins his first Group 1 race with Dark Dream proving too strong in the Group 1 $600,000 Channel Seven Queensland Derby (2200m) at Doomben today.
Dark Dream was sent out as the $4.20 favourite but his followers had to cheer hard to help him get past the Darren Weir trained Heavenly Thought ($8) who made the winner work hard to the line.
In the end Dark Dream was the stronger stayer on the day and gained the upper hand over the final fifty meters to record a very popular win for the Parker stable.
The Queensland Oaks winner Youngstar ($6.50) ran home gamely from the tail of the field after drawing the outside barrier in the sixteen horse field.
Winning jockey Tim Clark settled Dark Dream is a nice position mid-race before moving forward on the home turn and gave the All American gelding a clear run to the line, while Heavenly Thought was getting all the favours along the inside.
Dark Dream put himself into Queensland Derby contention two starts back when he won the Group 3 $125,000 Mitty’s Rough Habit Plate (2000m) at Doomben on May 12 but then lost some admirers last start when a beaten favourite when third in the Group 3 $150,000 Mullins Lawyers Grand Prix Stakes (2200m) at Doomben a fortnight ago.
Clark never lost any confidence and went into the Queensland Derby knowing he was on the top chances in the race.
“When he won here four weeks back, I didn’t think he would get beaten,” Clark said.
“He had a hiccup last start.”
“So wrapped for Kerry, his first Group 1.”
“He said he kept him a bit fresh the other day and he knew his grand final was still a few weeks away and his timing was perfect.”
“He over raced a bit early but with a bit of speed on mid-race, he got into a bit of rhythm.”
“The horse in front of him ran off and the seas parted for him.”
“Darren’s horse got all the favours back on the inside and ducked through like the winner but my horse just wouldn’t be denied.”
“He is so tough and determined. He was out on his feet late but still found a way to keep his head in front.”