$800 Mare Produces Derby Winner
Mark Smith - Saturday June 9

The Kembla Grange-based trainer Kerry Parker scored a career highlight win in Saturday's $600,000 Group 1 Queensland Derby (2400m) at Doomben with the All American gelding Dark Dream.

A beaten odds-on favourite a fortnight ago in the Grand Prix Stakes, Dark Dream under hard riding by Tim Clark fought off a stubborn Heavenly Thought (So You Think) by a short-neck with another two and three-quarter lengths back to Queensland Oaks winner Youngstar (High Chaparral) who came from last to finish third. (photo Steve Har t)


Parker said Dark Dream trod on a lost shoe at his most recent start causing him some pain.

"He was basically running on three legs last time, it was probably a huge effort for him to get as close as he did that day," Parker revealed.

"They always say you should forgive a horse for one bad run, and it wasn't even a bad run considering the genuine excuses he had.

"I'm absolutely thrilled to win a Group I as I only have a small stable.

"I think I have had six placings in Group One's so it was nice to get one."

Winner of the Group III Rough Habit Plate (2000m) in May, Dark Dream advances his record to 4 wins, 5 seconds and 1third from 10 starts with earnings of $594,643.

A homebred for long-time stable clients Mary Jane Basson and Jess Wilson, Dark Dream is the best of four winners from as many to race out of the Lion Hunter mare, Buchanan Girl who was purchased at the 2011 Inglis Easter Broodmare Sale for just $800. 

You need to go back five generations to find the previous stakes winner, the SAJC Sires Produce Stakes winner Tell Fibs who is a half-brother to the dams of Victoria Derby and Spring Champion Stakes winner Nothin' Leica Dane and to the granddam of AJC Australian Oaks winner Leica Smile and Victoria Derby winner Redding.

Buchanan Girl has a weanling colt by the unheralded Redoute's Choice stallion May'Haab and was covered by the Cox Plate winner Shamus Award last spring.

Dark Dream becomes the second Group 1 winner for the handsome All American (pictured) after ATC Sires' Produce Stakes and Spring Champion Stakes heroine Yankee Rose, who coincidently was trained by Parker's former boss David Vandyke.

A Group 1 winning son of Red Ransom (USA), All American (pictured ) will stand at Geisel Park in 2018 at a fee of $7,700.

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