Distinctive Look continues on a path towards the Country Championships when he starts in the Turfcare NSW Banjo Paterson Cup (1300m) at Orange on Saturday.
The four-year-old has been a work in progress for part-owner and trainer David Smith who first laid eyes on the gelding as an unraced proposition.
There was something about Distinctive Look that Smith and his brother James liked and they purchased the galloper with the hope he could be something a little bit special.
Despite a couple of setbacks which required surgery, Distinctive Look has repaid the faith of his owners which include members of the Smith family and David’s partner Tash Binns.
“He is going to be my best horse and has helped put my name out there,” Smith said.
It’s not hard to see why Smith speaks in glowing terms of Distinctive Look. He has already won two Highway Handicaps in Sydney and if he wins as expected on Saturday will progress to a heat of the Country Championships at Wellington on 12 March.
A top two finish there would put Distinctive Look in the $400,000 Country Championship final at Randwick in April.
Distinctive Look already has a win to his name at Randwick and is no stranger to travelling to Sydney from his base at Mudgee.
It sets him up well for a tilt at the big one, but Smith wants to get Saturday’s race run and won and then move on to the Country Championships.
“He has come on from his first-up run and is probably about 85 per cent fit now,” he said.
Before they started to see a return for their outlay, the Smiths had to remain patient with Distinctive Look who always had that something special about him, according to David.
“He had a stifle operation and another on his throat,” he said.
“He hasn’t been an easy horse to train but James and I liked him and we were lucky enough to buy him before he was sold by Gooree Stud where we both work.
“Tash rides him in work and he is coming along really well.”
Distinctive Look comes up against a strong field of open class gallopers including three last start winners and the well performed Ultima Chance.
Ultima Chance has to concede all of his rivals six to seven kilograms which may prove beyond the veteran.