Darby Racing enjoying the ride of a lifetime as Blue Diamond, Golden Slipper riches beckon
The little one-percenters Scott Darby calls them. Apparently they are all adding up this season. And how?
Only halfway through the current season, syndicator Darby Racing has already surpassed last term's levels. Winners? Tick. Prizemoney? Ditto. And then there are the two-year-olds. Two already qualified for the Golden Slipper - with the hope of possibly one more. Another couple on the Blue Diamond trail.
"We've just continually worked at it and worked at it," founder Scott Darby said. "It's grown and it's just all coming together. It's just been one of those seasons where all the one-percenters have come together. It's been a sensational season and hopefully we can continue through the autumn carnival and we'll see what we can do."
You would be forgiven for thinking Darby Racing has not only sought an upgrade of stock, but also an upgrade of trainers. Gai Waterhouse has been enlisted joining fellow shrewd Sydney conditioners Bjorn Baker and David Vandyke.
Then there is Hall Of Famer David Hayes in his partnership with nephew Tom Dabernig. All training winners - and all for Darby Racing.
Eight years might have seemed a long time to wait for an opportunity to give a horse to Waterhouse, but she has quickly rewarded Darby Racing by qualifying Scarlet Rain alongside Yankee Rose for the Slipper.
Rampage, a leading hope in the $250,000 Inglis Classic at Randwick on Saturday, could potentially be the third horse from three different trainers the syndicator will have in the world's richest two-year-old race.
But Hayes and Dabernig's colt has a little matter of the Inglis Classic first after the unfashionably-bred All American - whose stallion was out of favour so badly a pinhooking venture failed - ran third in the Inglis Nursery before before Christmas.
"Someone tried to pinhook him and by the time he came around the All Americans weren't the most popular at the time," Darby said of his $20,000 yearling buy.
"He was just a big strong colt and we thought if he could get up and run early he would be ahead of the pack. He was neat and tidy and thought he wasn't a bad horse."
Good decision. The colt has already banked $84,000 and will seek to press his Blue Diamond claims - and potentially Golden Slipper suitability - with another bold showing at Randwick after being listed as the $6 third favourite for the Inglis Classic.
Rampage's formline is nothing like the picket fence Baker's Selita has erected on the back of four straight wins. She will shoot for a fifth in the Randwick eighth with James McDonald on board.
"She's in terrific form and we were going to have a crack at the Breeders [Classic], but we decided to take another step [in distance] and go to 1400 metres and with James McDonald on I was surprised she wasn't favourite actually," Darby said.