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Planets Align For Darci To Reign

By Ray Hickson

A bit of rain, 1400m and Adam Hyeronimus.

Those three factors have trainer Tim Martin confident King Darci is ready to win again in the Clubs NSW Handicap (1400m) at Randwick on Saturday.

The consistent five-year-old resumed at Randwick two weeks ago and finished eighth behind Chalk after racing wide just off the speed.

“I thought he ran fairly first up, I thought the run was okay but he has improved off that run and he will race well,’’ Martin said.

“If there is any give in the track it will help him too.’’

King Darci's first-up run at Randwick on October 7

Jockey Adam Hyeronimus has ridden King Darci four times for two wins and a second and significantly those two wins were when Martin stepped the gelding up to 1400m.

King Darci has won three of his four attempts at the 1400m and finished second on the other occasion.

Martin said he expects King Darci to be right on the pace with the distance increase and inside barrier and wouldn’t be disappointed if the track played towards those on the speed again.

“The way the track has been playing it has helped to be on the pace,’’ he said.

“He’s looking for the trip but he didn’t have long off, just a freshen up, and I reckon he will get a mile this time in.’’

Group 1 winning mare Heavens Above felt her run against Winx in the George Main Stakes five weeks ago so Martin has been patient and she resurfaces in the Group 3 $150,000 The Nivison (1200m).

Heavens Above, the Coolmore Classic winner from the autumn, is unbeaten at 1200m and is on trial for a trip to Melbourne – like the Ron Quinton stablemates Dixie Blossoms and Daysee Doom – for the Myer Classic (1600m).

“I ran her second-up against Winx and she came out of the race a bit jarry so I backed off her a little bit,’’ Martin said.

“Her action is good so we’ll run her and see how she comes through it. She’ll be ridden quietly from the barrier and hopefully she is hitting the line.’’

Mapmaker has been a model of consistency since graduating from brother Craig Martin’s Tamworth stable after his second in the Tamworth Cup in April.

He bumped into the talented Interlocuter at Randwick on October 7 and butters up again in the Procare Property Services Handicap (1600m).

“He ran into a pretty good horse last time but he is racing very well,’’ Martin said.

Check out the fields and form for Royal Randwick on Saturday

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