The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
Kerry Parker’s dominant Rough Habit Plate winner Dark Dream looks very hard to beat in next month’s 2018 Queensland Derby after saluting by the biggest winning margin of the day at Doomben.
The All American gelding jumped the heavily-backed $2.40 favourite at Ladbrokes.com.au for the last on Doomben 10,000 Day and did not disappoint the punters with his emphatic victory in this season’s Group 3 $125,000 Rough Habit Plate (2000m).
Ridden a treat by in-form hoop Tim Clark, who made it a hat-trick following wins in the Queensland Day Stakes on Perast and gun mare English in the Group 1 Doomben 10,000, Dark Dream ran the perfect lead-up to the Group 1 $600,000 Queensland Derby (2200m) on June 9.
“It’s been great to get back up to the Sunshine State, this just caps off what has been a remarkable day,” Clark said post-win.
“How are they gonna beat him in the Derby off that?
“Kerry’s done a great job, he’s only got a small team.
“That was a dominant win and he hasn’t put it all together yet. He’s still got a bit the learn, but the talent is there.”
Coming off a trio of second placings, Dark Dream shrugged off his placegetter status going one better than his devastatingly close lead-up second to Villermont at the track in the Group 3 Gunsynd Classic (1630m).
Dark Dream was drawn the widest gate, but went forward along with Hang on his inside from those outside barriers to cross and lead the Rough Habit field of Queensland Derby hopes around.
The Ben Currie-trained Hang just got to the front and was the narrow leader on the inside of the favourite, while Astoria was also travelling well fourth on the rails.
Approaching the home turn, Dark Dream was called upon and went three wide giving chase as the Chris Waller-trained Frank Packer Plate winner Higher Ground ($4.60) chasing a third on the trot improved on his midfield position also out really wide.
Dark Dream went for home at the top of the straight with Higher Ground down the outside also closing well.
It was all about the winner in the final furlong however with Dark Dream drawing well clear and storming home for a four length win over Higher Ground, while the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained California Tempo ($11) rounded out the trifecta in third.
“He got out to a trip…and you’ve got to ride him a bit ugly too. You can’t sit there too pretty on him,” Clark explained.
“Once I got past the 600 [metres] to the 500, I just sort of let him rip and he put them away within a couple of strides.
“He wasn’t stopping on the line either, he’s a true stayer and he’s pulled up like he hasn’t gone around.”
Dark Dream is now favourite in the pre-field Queensland Derby 2018 odds at Ladbrokes.com.au to do the double last completed by Hawkspur (2013), firming in from $7.50 to $3.50 for the Group 1 on Stradbroke Handicap Day.
2018 Rough Habit Plate Results & Finishing Order
Doomben Race 9 – 12/05/2018
|1||8||DARK DREAM||Kerry Parker||Tim Clark||–||15||57kg||$2.45F|
|2||2||HIGHER GROUND||Chris Waller||Glyn Schofield||4L||6||57kg||$4.60|
|3||5||CALIFORNIA TURBO||Peter & Paul Snowden||Kerrin McEvoy||4.4L||10||57kg||$10|
|4||13||OMINECA (NZ)||Chris Waller||Craig Williams||4.6L||12||57kg||$13|
|5||9||ICON OF DUBAI||Peter & Paul Snowden||Regan Bayliss||4.7L||13||57kg||$31|
|6||11||NOTHING TOO HARD||Paul Perry||Matthew McGillivray||7.95L||3||57kg||$61|
|7||1||ASTORIA||James Cummings||Damian Browne||8.95L||1||57kg||$9.50|
|8||7||ZOFONIC DANCER||Robert Heathcote||Brad Stewart||11.2L||8||57kg||$21|
|9||16||MADISON POINT (NZ)||Scott Morrisey||Ryan Wiggins||14.2L||4||57kg||$201|
|10||12||NAKED||Barry Lockwood||Corey Brown||16.2L||2||57kg||$101|
|11||3||SALSAMOR (NZ)||Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young||Mark Zahra||19.45L||11||57kg||$21|
|12||6||EPIC RANT||Michael Costa||Michael Cahill||21.7L||7||57kg||$101|
|13||14||MR PLOW||Tracey Bartley||James Orman||31.7L||9||57kg||$151|
|14||4||HANG||Ben Currie||Jim Byrne||35.45L||14||57kg||$31|
|15||10||SO YOU WIN||Chris Waller||Jeff Lloyd||94.45L||5||57kg||$17|
|–||15||LUCKY FOR ALL (NZ)||Darren Weir||Ben Allen (a)||–||0||–||–|
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