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Qld Derby dream comes true for battler Kerry Parker

By Glenn Davis

Kembla Grange trainer Kerry Parker finally has a Group 1 for his trophy cabinet following Dark Dream’s heart-stopping win in the Queensland Derby at Doomben on Saturday.

Dark Dream gave Sydney jockey Tim Clark his second feature victory of the day with a thrilling short neck win over Heavenly Thought with Queensland Oaks winning filly Youngstar third, a further 2-3/4 lengths away.

Clark earlier won the Brisbane Cup on Sedanzer for co-trainers Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott before collecting his 11th Group win of his career aboard Dark Dream.

Parker had tried and failed on several occasions to win a race at the highest level and was relieved when Dark Dream broke the drought.

“I’ve had six placings in Group 1’s and now I’ve got one,” Parker said.

“I’ve finally got one to put on the mantel piece.”

Parker was under a great deal of pressure with Dark Dream who was first earmarked for the Queensland Derby back in January.

After winning the Group 3 Rough Habit Plate at Doomben on May 12, Dark Dream finished a moderate third in the Group 3 Grand Prix at Doomben two weeks later.

“He had a terrific preparation but I was probably a little soft on him last start,” Parker said.

“I’ll let this sink in before I sit down and work out a plan for the spring.”

Sydney mare Invincibella warmed up for her Group 1 Tatt’s Tiara assignment in two weeks with a decisive win in the Group 2 Dane Ripper Stakes.

Ridden by James McDonald, Invincibella was back with the tailenders turning for home before unleashing a whirlwind finish to down Prompt Response.

Trainer Chris Waller praised McDonald for a clever ride on the four-year-old whose previous win was on Magic Millions day at the Gold Coast in January.

“It was a clever ride and was timed to perfection,” Waller said.

“He was very patient from an awkward barrier.”

Earlier the Rob Heathcote-trained Hopfgarten claimed his second win in the Listed The Wayne Wilson (1600m).

Relishing the soft conditions, Hopfgarten hit the front half way down the straight before going on to down Ulmann by a short neck.

Hopfgarten won the The Wayne Wilson two years ago and had not been successful since last October.

The seven-year-old had failed in his three previous runs this campaign but Heathcote expected a better performance.

“His form suggests he’s probably not as good as he once was but he missed a run a few weeks back with a slight strain,” Heathcote said.

“I just feel so proud to win The Wayne Wilson a second time as he (Wayne Wilson) was a real legend.

“He was an institution to racing in Queensland and I get a lot of pride winning this race

Racing Queensland webnews    June 9