Two-time Singapore champion trainer Mark Walker is hoping that blinker-pacifiers will do the trick on Distinctive Darci (Darci Brahma) in the Kranji Stakes A race over 1100m on Friday.
The Darci Brahma four-year-old has been battling a little at his recent starts. Quite noticeably, he has been dropping back at the rear, and by the time he goes through his gears, the race was over.
Walker has decided to fit the Dato Terry Lee-owned galloper with blinker-pacifiers in a bid to get him to follow closer in the running.
The blinker-pacifiers came on at his barrier trial last Tuesday. Ridden by Walker’s new apprentice jockey Mohd Firdaus, Distinctive Darci just ambled along to run third to speed merchant Sebas, 1.6 lengths astern.
“He handled the blinker-pacifiers very well in the trial, but a trial is a trial. The real test will be Friday,” said the Kiwi handler.
“They are just meant to switch him on. He’s been getting too far back in his races.
“Hopefully, the blinker-pacifiers will help him race a bit handier than before, but it’s a tough field.”
After reeling off a four-in-a-row as a three-year-old, Distinctive Darci then found himself out of depth in the first Leg of the Singapore Three-Year-Old Challenge, the Singapore Three-Year-Old Sprint, against the likes of Countomontecristo, Forever Young and Skywalk, beating two home.
Returning from a three-month freshen-up, Distinctive Darci bounced back to winning form with back-to-back wins in easier company, but at his next outing, he again came up short in the Garden City Trophy (1200m).
The runs have been fair subsequently. He just couldn’t find the line like last time.
Walker said he had not set Distinctive Darci on any ambitious plans after Sunday’s race given the gelding’s inclination towards Polytrack.
“His turf form is not as good as Polytrack. He won’t be going for the 4YO series (Singapore Four-Year-Old Challenge),” he said.
“There is a Kranji Stakes A race over 1100m on 18 March. He will be running in such races.
“Every race is tough for him, as he running against better horses these days. Let’s see what he does on Friday.”
Walker has booked his two-kilo claiming apprentice jockey Zawari Razali for the ride on Distinctive Darci in Friday’s race, which means he will carry only 53kgs
Distinctive Darci was bred by Nearco Stud and purchased by Te Akau Racing for $100,000 from Curraghmore's 2015 NZB draft. -STC