Dark Destroyer pictured after winning the Gr.1 Tarzino Trophy (1400m).  Photo: Trish Dunell

Dark Destroyer ruled out of Arrowfield Stud Plate

NZ Racing Desk
22 September 2022

The hopes of securing the Hastings triple crown with Dark Destroyer this year are now over.

The connections of the Gr.1 Tarzino Trophy (1400m) winner have decided to play it safe with their gelding and have given him a break following an elevated temperature following his victory on a Heavy10 track.

“He won’t be heading to the Arrowfield (Stud Plate, 1600m),” said Andrew Scott, who trains the four-year-old in partnership with Lance O’Sullivan.

“He just had a wee temperature last week. The tough conditions and the long trip there and back has taken a bit out of him so we have decided to put him in the paddock for a week.”

While the Matamata barn has put a line through the mile feature, they haven’t ruled out a return to the track to compete in the Gr.1 Livamol Classic (2040m), however, Australian targets could also be in the offing.

“All going well, we will get him back in the stable in the new week and look to get some new plans,” Scott said.

“Diane and David (Archer, owners) will sit down next week and have a look at his condition post a week in the paddock and try and make the best decision for the horse. 

“We have got no plan at this stage, but we will look to have one by this time next week.”

Scott said the win was a great boost for Wexford Stables and its staff.

“It was a wonderful result for the horse and the team. We couldn’t have been more pleased,” he said.

“First-up in testing conditions can take its toll and it is long season yet so having a quick reset now I am sure we will crack on through the summer months.”

Looking ahead to the weekend, Wexford will have one runner at Ruakaka and Awapuni on Saturday, and Tauranga on Sunday.

Sonofabutcher has been in a purple patch of form, placing in three of his last four starts, and won two starts back at Ruakaka over 1600m.

They are hoping he can continue his form at the Northland track this weekend when he lines-up in the Michelle Bradley Racing (1600m).

“He seems to race really well at Ruakaka,” Scott said. 

“He’s sustained a long preparation; he is continuing to race really well and his work was good again yesterday.

“We are hoping for another very competitive performance from him.”

Further south on Saturday, another in-form Wexford Stables runner Star Treasure will attempt to upset the apple cart when he competes against hot-favourite Butler in the Marsh Insurance Brokers/Farmers Transport (2015) LTD 1200.

“He comes up against a horse in Butler who looks very hard to beat, but outside the favourite it looks very open,” Scott said.

“He performed well on the same track conditions last time so if he can put in a similar performance it will take him a long way to being competitive.”

Closing out the team’s representation over the weekend will be Bubbajock in the Waikato Branch NZ Farriers Association 1400 at Tauranga.

“The longer the races get, the more competitive he will become,” Scott said. 

“He has benefitted a lot from his first-up run and it wouldn’t surprise me if he could run a place at long odds.”

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