Darc Bounty ready for Sunday show
From Stephen Gray's yard, Taichi Belt also impresses on the Kranji training track
On what was a quiet New Year's Day morning, ahead of the 10-race programme in the afternoon, it was trainer Stephen Gray's horses who provided the excitement on the training track.
All four of his entries for the Sunday meeting worked well, with the best of the quartet being Darc Bounty.
A last-start winner, he took the honours on Nov 30, Darc Bounty had I Amirul up in the saddle when he ran out the 600m in 38.1sec.
A regular money-spinner for the Elaine Chen Stable, the five-year-old's earnings have been climbing to the $300,000 mark and, with the season in front of him, it certainly looks like he will be padding up that bank balance.
Come Sunday, Darc Bounty tackles the 1,100m on the Polytrack and it looks to be a race right up his alley.
It was just a month ago when he scored that smashing win in a Kranji Stakes B sprint over the flying 1,000m.
That day, Darc Bounty didn't give his rivals a look-in.
With Glen Boss in charge, the son of Darci Brahma took the lead on jumping and never gave it back.
If anything, he kept upping the tempo all the way - making the contest unbearable for those in the chasing pack.
At the end of the sprint, which he covered in under a minute - 58.46sec to be exact - he had put two lengths between himself and second-placed Autumn Rush.
Darc Bounty seems to come to hand around this time of the year.
His first of five wins was scored on Jan 30. That too, was over the 1,000m and again, it was a front-running performance which landed him the goodies.
Pumped up to Class 4 for his next start, he collected a cheque for running third to Could Be Pearls in a 1,200m race on the grass.
A month later, in March, he notched up his second win when beating Splinter in yet another 1,200m contest.
Just so as to prove it was no fluke, he won his next two races.
One of them was over the 1,100m on the Polytrack - which is a simiar sort of race to the one he will contest on Sunday.
Darc Bounty is far from the finished product and, in a race run at set weights, he must be given an outstanding chance.
Also looking sharp on the training track yesterday was Taichi Belt.
The six-year-old was all zip when running the 600m in 37.4sec.
An honest sort, Taichi Belt has been paying for his keep with cheques from two wins, two seconds and six third placings.
Last time out, he was the $112 roughie in the race when running third to Battle Of Troy over the 1,200m.
That had come after he beat Hero Star in a tight finish over that same distance in mid-October.
That day, the judges had to call for a print of the finish before awarding the race to the Gray-trained runner.
Taichi Belt has more wins under his girth and he must be given every consideration when he faces the starter on Sunday.
Dai Marko (42.1sec) and Poet's Ryker (348.3sec) were the other two of Gray's runners who impressed trackwatchers yesterday morning.