Progressive three-year-old Dark Destroyer got off the mark in fine style when winning a maiden over 1300m at Taupo on Wednesday.
The Lance O’Sullivan and Andrew Scott-trained gelding had caught the eye when charging home into third at his first start at Taupo last month, and punters duly supported him into even money favourite on Wednesday.
Despite being moderately into stride, Dark Destroyer was able to eventually take up a forward position on inferior inside ground, before rider Sam Weatherly put his rivals to the sword turning for home.
The son of Proisir packed too many punches and won with ears pricked by a comfortable length.
“We were pleased. He showed good natural improvement from his first start to his second start,” Andrew Scott said.
“We were heartened by the form from his first start, with the winner Drum Major finishing third in the Hawke’s Bay Guineas (Group 2, 1400m) on Saturday.
“It gave us a lot of confidence and he seemed to handle the ground down nearer the fence well today. He quickened well and seems to be starting to do things more professionally. There was certainly merit in his win.”
The trainers will speak with owner David Archer before making a plan for the youngster, who does hold a nomination for the Group 1 Al Basti Equiworld Dubai New Zealand 2000 Guineas.
“He certainly settles well and we are hoping he can run a mile and further,” Scott said.
“It is all encouraging at this early stage.”