Trainer Robbie Laing is often left scratching his head when it comes to dealing with Darabad.
The French-bred import has the breeding to be a big race winner and to have a future as a stallion.
But since arriving in Australia he is still winless after 14 starts, with one placing to his name and hopes of a Melbourne Cup win have faded and stud ambitions gone after he was gelded when he ran down the track in last year’s Adelaide Cup.
Laing regained some confidence in Darabad after his last-start third at Sandown where he just held out stablemate Cuban Fighter for the minor money over 2400m.
On Saturday the pair line up in the Listed Andrew Ramsden Stakes (3200m) at Flemington.
Laing has established the best Australian performances handed in by Darabad have come on the roomier tracks of Flemington and Sandown.
“He ran well in a Lavazza, he went all right in the Bagot while he went well in the Sandown Cup and again at Sandown the other day,” Laing said.
“He likes it when there’s not much tempo and he can grow in stature and roll along in front.
“That’s hopefully what he’ll be doing.”
The presence of the Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott South Australian Derby placegetter and VRC St Leger winner Runaway could throw a spanner into Laing’s plans.
Runaway has shown a preference for leading and keeping up a solid tempo.
“My intentions are to let him (Darabad) find his feet and when he gets rocking to let him roll,” Laing said.
A solid tempo may favour his other runner Cuban Fighter who finished seventh in the Adelaide Cup at his only try at 3200m.
“If there’s any moisture about then that will improve his chances,” Laing said.
“He’s run second in a St Leger, he’s won over 3000 metres at Moonee Valley, he’s won over 2600m at Morphettville.
“He ran well in the Adelaide Cup earlier in the year and in his last run at Sandown he was hitting the line well.
“He’ll get a genuine tempo with Darabad and Runaway in the race so he’s got some sort of hope.”