A return to basics can sometimes do the trick in horses, and promising galloper Distinctive Darci was a shining example of that on Friday night.
The Darci Brahma three-year-old reeled off a four-in-a-row over Polytrack at his first prep last year, but the rot set in after the December break. He came down with heel issues.
It was apparent from the way he was striding something was not quite right. Trainer Mark Walker had the Club farrier team to investigate and Distinctive Darci was soon unshod.
Distinctive Darci (Vlad Duric) scores an impressive win first-up, picture Singapore Turf Club
“He had a really good first prep and then something went wrong. He was losing his heels, which is not an uncommon condition, but you have to look into it,” said the current leading trainer.
“Chris the Club farrier did a good job with him. We decided to take all his shoes off and let Mother Nature take over.
“We turned him out and brought him back. He was soon striding a lot better.
“I was quite happy with his condition going into this race first-up (after 103 days), and he won very well tonight. I think he’s come back a better and more mature horse.
“A big thank you to Dato Terry Lee for being so patient with this horse. He puts no pressure on even if t’s not easy to just have a horse staying in his box.
“Hopefully, he can hold it all together now. It will then be onwards and upwards for him.
“I haven’t really decided what is next for him. I guess a lot will depend on what the handicapper gives him.”
Sent out as the even-money favourite in the $80,000 Victoria Racing Club Trophy, a Class 3 race over 1100m, Distinctive Darci (Vlad Duric) always had leader Shadow Of War (Derreck David) in his sights from the word go. At the 300m, you did not need to be a clairvoyant to guess which way the race was going.
In one fell swoop, Walker’s comeback horse left his rivals standing as he went to collect the first prize by 3 ¼ lengths from Pole Paradise (Alan Munro) with Katagas (Syafiq Hazman) third another neck away. The winning time was 1min 4.34secs for the 1100m on the Polytrack.
Duric, who was at his first association with Distinctive Darci, heaped praise on the five-time winner.
“He was my best ride of the night. I was pretty confident from a long way out he would win, I had the race in my keeping,” said the Australian jockey.
“It was my first time riding him in a race but I galloped him once and he gave a very good feeling.
“He has such a beautiful action, and I daresay he will become a superior horse on the Polytrack.”
Distinctive Darci has now taken his earnings close to the $260,000 mark for the Fairdeal Stable.