The Kiwi invasion of the Queensland winter carnival has kicked off and trainer Jamie Richards is convinced Rough Habit Plate winner Shocking Luck will soon claim Group One glory.
The New Zealand stayer started at $6 and showed his class in a dominant 2-3/4 length win over Order Again ($3.40 fav) in the Gr.3 Rough Habit Plate (2000m) at Doomben.
In an ominous warning, co-trainer Richards, who trains in partnership with Stephen Autridge insisted the son of Shocking would be much better on a firm track.
Shocking Luck, ridden by Opie Bosson, has been sold to Hong Kong interests.
But Richards thinks he will win the Gr.1 Queensland Derby (2400m) at Eagle Farm on June 10 before heading to Asia.
"We always thought he was a Queensland Derby horse - he ran very well in the Waikato Guineas at home and subsequently he was sold to Hong Kong," Richards said.
"He will go to Hong Kong after the Queensland Derby but hopefully he can win that for us first.
"With a bit of luck the tracks will improve as I believe he is better on top of the ground.
"He is a very exciting horse, a straight-out New Zealand staying type horse, a big skinny horse."
On his Australian debut, Shocking Luck was beaten in a Class Three at Ipswich but Richards always believed the 1500m that day would be too short for the stayer.
"A few months ago, there was no way he could have run second over a mile so the Ipswich run was good," Richards said.
"He has always needed ground and he has only ever won over 2000m."
Second-placed Order Again was also impressive after struggling to get a clear run in the straight.
"It's a pity he couldn't draw a bit closer as I had to go back further than I wanted," jockey Larry Cassidy said.
"I can't wait to get him across the road (to Eagle Farm)."