Owners weigh up big offer for Derby winner
THE offers to buy trainer Kerry Parker's impressive Queensland Derby winner Dark Dream just keep climbing.
Parker has revealed the latest bid from overseas interests for the three-year-old gelding was $2.5 million.
A meeting between the trainer and Dark Dream's owners scheduled for Thursday to discuss the offers has been postponed until next week, but Parker is keen to keep the talented young stayer in his Kembla Grange stable.
Parker, who prepared the first Group 1 winner of his 20-year training career when Dark Dream took out the Queensland Derby, revealed he informed his owners of the latest $2.5 million bid.
"I think the owners are happy to keep racing but that is a lot of money for a three-year-old,'' Parker said. "I'll catch up with the owners to talk about it next week.''
Dark Dream is enjoying a well-earned spell after a sensational debut campaign that yielded four wins and six placings from 10 starts.
Parker is undecided about Dark Dream's spring program, preferring to be guided by the gelding's form in the new season.
"I'm looking at maybe a race like the Tramway Handicap to get him started in the spring,'' Parker said.
"It will depend on the horse and how he is going which races we set him for because it is a big step from three-year-olds into open company.''
Dark Dream's Queensland Derby was the first Group 1 win prepared by a Kembla Grange trainer since Gwenda Markwell's Grand Zulu won the 2004 The BMW.
Although Kembla trainers don't have a similar tradition to their Warwick Farm counterparts who shout prawns and champagne breakfasts for their colleagues after a Group 1 win, Parker's peers were congratulatory after his feat.
"I think they were all thrilled to see someone from down here do it,'' Parker said.
With Dark Dream enjoying a winter spell, Parker is relying new stable recruit Tenorino to keep his winning momentum going in the Hi Quality Turf Handicap (1400m) at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
Tenorino, a rising six-year-old gelding, will be sporting a new look when he races sans nose-roll at his debut for the Parker stable.
Tenorino hadn't been carrying his head high during his Kembla trackwork gallops so Parker decided to make the gear change on Saturday.
"I don't know a lot about the horse, I'm still working him out,'' Parker said.
"But I'm happy as Larry with the way he is going. He has settled in very well, he's quite the little gentleman and I'm looking forward to watching him go around.
"I've watched a few of his runs and he definitely has ability.''