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Dark Destroyer to make his mark in Australian debut

By Glenn Davis

Co-trainer Andrew Scott is hopeful New Zealand’s dual Group winner Dark Destroyer can stake an early claim for the TAB Queensland Racing Carnival features when the three-year-old makes his Australian debut at Eagle Farm on Saturday.

Dark Destroyer has been in Brisbane for 10 days and will make his comeback against his own age in the Listed Daybreak Lover over 1400 metres.

The son of Proisir has won three of his six starts, including the Group 3 Bonecrusher over 1400 metres at Matamata in December, before his last start victory in the Group 2 Auckland Guineas over 1600 metres at Ellerslie on January 1.

Scott has been a regular visitor to Queensland over the years and won the Queensland Oaks in 2010 with Miss Keepsake, who was also placed that year in the Queensland Derby.

“I’ve been coming to Queensland for a number of years and we came here last year but didn’t have a lot of luck,” Scott said.

“We’ve only got Dark Destroyer here this year at the moment as a few things went wrong with a couple of others we had earmarked to send over.

“Dark Destroyer has settled in well and his work on Tuesday was very pleasing.”

Dark Destroyer (NZ) Next Racing
Samantha Collett Next Racing

Scott said Dark Destroyer will step up in distance after the Daybreak Lover and could head to the Group 1 Queensland Derby at Eagle Farm in June.

“He’s going the right way so far but we’re under no illusions he’s in a strong field and faces a difficult task on Saturday,” he said.

“He’ll step up to middle distance three-year-old races after this but we don’t know yet if he’ll head towards the Queensland Derby.”

Scott trains at Matamata in partnership with Lance O’Sullivan, brother of Paul O’Sullivan, who is a veteran of almost two decades of training in Hong Kong.

Paul O’Sullivan was the champion trainer in New Zealand on 11 occasions before relocating to Hong Kong in 2004.

Dark Destroyer will be ridden by New Zealander Sam Collett and will be out to emulate another Kiwi, the Tony Pike-trained The Bostonian who crossed the ditch to win the Daybreak Lover in 2018.

The Bostonian went on to claim the Group 3 Sunshine Coast Guineas that year before returning the following year to win at the highest level in the Group 1 Kingsford Smith Cup and Group 1 Doomben 10,000.