Dark Destroyer built on his impressive runner-up performance in April’s Queensland Guineas (1600m), winning Saturday’s Rough Habit Plate (2000m) at Eagle Farm.
The New Zealand-based three-year-old moved up stylishly at the top of the straight in the Group 3 event, towing jockey Sam Weatherly into the race.
Despite only winning by two tenths of a length, the son of Proisir was left in front a long way from home, which allowed Paternal to put in a late effort along the fence, albeit to no avail.
2022 Rough Habit Plate Replay
“I’m very grateful to the connections for sticking with me, they didn’t have to,” the winning hoop said.
“I’ve got a good connection with this horse.
“He’s the horse that you dream about and to get one early on in my career that is taking me places. Very thrilled.
“He’s a very tough horse. Whatever he’s done today he’s going to improve in two weeks’ time. They eased the tempo down the back and he rolled up there himself.”
The Lance O’Sullivan & Andrew Scott-trained gelding was a big firmer in Queensland Derby markets, coming into $7 with online bookmakers.