Trainer Mark Walker’s decision to fit Distinctive Darci (Darci Brahma) with blinker-pacifiers proved to be spot-on after the Darci Brahma four-year-old landed the spoils in the S$125,000 Kranji Stakes A race over 1100m on Friday night.
The two-time Singapore champion trainer was not too happy with the way Distinctive Darci had been dropping at the rear at his recent races, a pattern which did not help his cause, he thought. By the time he unwinds, the bird had already flown.
With Walker’s apprentice jockey Zawari Razali jumping aboard for the first time, Distinctive Darci was ridden more positive, no doubt also helped in a great way by his handy gate (3). They had little trouble settling into the box-seat behind speed demon Sebas and Nova Missile.
Turning for home, the field had packed up, with Distinctive Darci held up for a run for a while with hardly any galloping room appearing.
But the moment a wide enough passage between Sebas and Nova Missile showed up, Zawari was finally able to set his mount alight.
Distinctive Darci rallied, but Nova Missile was showing plenty of ticker and for a second it looked like favourite Nowyousee would claim them all as he burst through with only 49kgs on his back.
Ricardo Le Grange’s boom three-year-old, however, peaked on his run, with Nova Missile clawing his way back to deny him the runner-up spot by a neck, while one length upstream, Distinctive Darci kept finding plenty to score in the smart time of 1min 4.93secs for the 1100m on the Polytrack.
Walker was all smiles at the winner’s circle even if he said he had a momentary scare when Distinctive Darci played up in his gate just before the field was about to be dispatched. The vet on duty Dr Peter Briggs eventually cleared him to run, which proved to be the right decision.
“I think he anticipated the start. It’s quite unusual as he is normally good, maybe it’s just a one-off” said the Kiwi mentor. “I’m just glad the vet took his time to vet him and allowed him to run.
“He was getting too far back at his recent races, he was getting out of his ground. We put the blinker-pacifiers on tonight and I told Zawari to ride him more positive.
“There was not much of a gap in the straight, but he bulldogged his way through. It’s onwards and upwards from here.
“We will stick to Polytrack with him and keep him on the fresh side. A big thank you to Paul Summers, the Club farrier as he has also done a good job to hot-shod him and bring him in great order.”
Zawari said Distinctive Darci was just raring to go when they could not find a way out at the top of the straight.
“There was a good pace to the race and I was able to hold a good spot behind the leaders,” said the Kelantan-born rider.
“The instructions were to settle in fourth or fifth spot. At the home turn, he was ready to go and when the gap came up, he quickened really well.”
With that seventh win in only 19 outings, Distinctive Darci has bumped up his stakes earnings past the half-million mark for the Fairdeal Stable of Dato Terry Lee.
Distinctive Darci was bred by Nearco Stud and purchased by Te Akau Racing for $100,000 from Curraghmore's 2015 NZB draft. -STC