where the horse is always the hero
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Posted 2023-10-11 15:39:24  
Singapore history beckons for Lims

History will be re-written again if Lim’s Kosciuszko wins the $300,000 Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Cup (1800m) on Saturday.

A victory in the second Leg of the Singapore Triple Crown series would mean an unprecedented clean sweep of weight-for-age Group 1 races in a single season in Singapore by Lim’s Kosciuszko. The six-year-old by Kermadec has won both the Raffles Cups (1600m) in March and September, the Lion City Cup (1200m) in August and the Kranji Mile (1600m) in May.

For good measure, he also took out the Group 3 Merlion Trophy (1200m) first-up in February to kick off his undefeated season, which was a mere ‘pipe opener’ in hindsight given his heroics since.

Regular partner Wong Chin Chuen will continue to steer Lim's Kosciuszko in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Cup on Saturday.

While concentrating on the job at hand, which was to win the QEII Cup on Saturday, trainer Daniel Meagher was, as always, in awe of the achievements of Lim’s Kosciuszko’s this year.

“He’s a star, isn’t he?” said Meagher on Tuesday.

“I thought what he did last year – to win the Lion City over six furlongs after winning the (Group 1) (Singapore) Derby (1800m) - was exceptional, but he’s gone to another level.

“He hasn’t been beaten this year (in five starts) and four Group 1 races on the trot was pretty special.

“To be honest, I think he (Lim’s Kosciuszko) is the only thing keeping Singapore racing relevant at the moment. It’s a shame he’s not being promoted as much as he could have been in the lead up to this race.

“Horses like ‘Kosi’ needs to be recognised, especially as he might get the chance to represent Singapore at the Hong Kong International Races (on 10 December) again. But we’ll wait and see (for the invitation by Hong Kong Jockey Club).”

Meagher was happy to report that his stable star is spot on for the QEII Cup, which was also the only Group 1 race on the Singapore racing calendar the young Australian conditioner has yet to win.

“Everything is going to plan,” said Meagher, whose father and ex-Kranji trainer John won the race with Exaggerate in 2003.

“I have given him the same preparation as he had stepped up from the mile to 1800m when he won the Derby last year.

“In fact, his trial the other day (ran fourth in trial no 3 to Countofmontecristo on 5 October) was very similar to his trial before the Derby. They walked (slow early sectionals) but he dropped his head for (jockey) Marc (Lerner) and picked up to the wire.

“That trial will stimulate him nicely. He (Lim’s Kosciuszko) naturally wanted to do more, but he’s fit and he knows he has a race this Saturday.”

While Lerner had the honour of trialling the best horse in Singapore last Thursday, regular partner Wong Chin Chuen will be back in the saddle on Saturday.

The two-time Singapore champion apprentice jockey was handed a four-month suspension for not riding War Frontier to the satisfaction of stewards on 30 September, but he has since appealed and applied for a stay of sentence, which was subsequently granted by the stewards.

“CC (Wong Chin Chuen) had a few things to deal with last week, so Marc stepped up to ride him in the trial,” explained Meagher.

“Marc is a team player and he handled the job beautifully, but CC was always going to ride in the QEII (Cup) if he was available.

“CC knew him better than anyone and he hasn’t been beaten on him (Lim’s Kosciuszko) at Group level. He (CC) can read how the race would pan out early and ride him where he thinks is best for him.

“He’s got 800m or so into the bend, so even if he leads them, I wouldn’t be unhappy.”

Of his other runners, Meagher is looking forward to Lim’s Saltoro in the $75,000 Novice race over 1200m and possible Group 1 Singapore Gold Cup (2000m) contenders - Rambo in the $70,000 Class 3 race (1800m) and Saturno Spring in the $85,000 Class 2 race (1400m).

“He’s (Lim’s Saltoro) a smart horse,” said Meagher of the Shamexpress four-year-old who impressed at his debut win on 9 September.

“But he’s also a big goofy bugger and nowhere near the finished product. He still has lots to learn and racing is the best way to do that.

“He’s found a good novice field – Silo, Hasten and Ace Of Diamonds to name a few – but that will do him good.

“A nice barrier is always handy for young horses but Marc said he was more professional at his recent trial (ran third in trial no 2 on 5 October to War Room), which was good.

“Saturno Springs (x Greenspring) battled as we probably expected in hindsight at weight-for-age level (finished last in the Raffles Cup won by Lim’s Kosciuszko on 23 September), so the drop to Class 2 and 1400m should see his best.

“And Rambo (x Heliostatic) looks to be in the right race too. He can be a tricky horse but he’s found his form and gets the trip.

“At this stage, they (Saturno Springs and Rambo) will go to the Gold Cup with light weights and Lim’s Kosciuszko will head there as well if he doesn't go to Hong Kong.”

The Singapore Gold Cup is the third and final Leg of the Singapore Triple Crown series and it will be held on 11 November.


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