Lim’s Kosciuszko’s quickly dispelled any questions about a rise in class and distance in under 1min 22 secs in Singapore on Wednesday night.
Daniel Meagher’s rising star, who is unbeaten in six starts, gave a solid indication all the spruiking had not been over the top following the ease with which he despatched the Class 1 field, the first time he was being stretched past his pet trip of six furlongs.
All along, Meagher had said he would use Wednesday’s first real test as a guide towards the Gr.1 Lion City Cup (1200m) on August 14.
He couldn’t have received a more resounding answer from the way Lim’s Kosciuszko made light work of Group 2 EW Barker Trophy winner Nepean in the home straight or top guns like Big Hearted (fourth) and Top Knight (sixth), even if the scratching of top sprinter Kharisma (bruised heel) might have rendered the victory hollower to some.
But the young trainer was so taken by his precocious charge’s arguably most impressive win to-date that he could even afford to dream bigger barely had the saddle come off the Kermadec four-year-old.
“I actually spoke to (owner) Mr Lim (Siah Mong) after the win and he told me to do whatever I want to do, but I may have a rethink now,” said Meagher.
“I’ll have a good talk with Danny (Beasley) and we may head towards the (Group 1) Singapore Derby (on July 17) with him now. The way he won over 1400m today, I think he’ll get the distance (1800m).
“He’s really relaxed, he’s a four-year-old and as he’s by Kermadec, he should be able to go further. We should really prep his programme towards the Derby now, and of course, via the Stewards’ Cup (over 1600m on June 26).
“I always thought he was no one-trick pony. I’m not so sure about the Lion City Cup now as there’s only one month between the two races, the Derby is looking like the more likely path now.”
As for the route to chart during the Chinese New Year’s highlight, Meagher said he only briefed first-time partner Wong Chin Chuen to let Lim’s Kosciuszko find his own feet when the gates open – and he would be pretty much auto-pilot from wherever he landed.
“Jimmy had a chat with Danny how to ride the horse during the week, and I also told him to jump and not push him,” said Meagher.
“The horse will come across by himself, and the main thing was to get him into a good rhythm. The horse will take him into the race.
“Whatever it is, don’t rush as there is a long backstraight and to take a sit off Nepean, just keep him relaxed and hold him for as long as he can.
“He listened and once he let him go, it was all over. He’s a very good rider, Jimmy.
“He gave the horse a good ride and the horse gave him a good ride.”
Glued to the girth of expected frontrunner Nepean after he also shot out the gates in a flash, Lim’s Kosciuszko, who had only the minimum weight of 50kgs on his back, was always travelling on the bridle. Once the $9 hotpot swung for the judge, the race was all but wrapped up in the twinkling of an eye – he quickly opened up to an unassailable lead which Wong kept at two lengths once he knew victory was assured.
Nepean held on gamely for second place with Nowyousee (John Sundradas), who box-seated throughout, running on fairly for third place another short head away. Lim’s Kosciuszko clocked a smart time of 1min 21.99secs for the 1400m on the Long Course, 1.24secs outside Ace Aliado’s 12-year-old course record.
“I think he was around one second outside the record. He ran really good time,” said Meagher.
“It was a very convincing win, which justifies what Danny told me on Thursday after his trial. He told me on that work, he should go into the race and win.
“He said the horse gave him a great feel, he came out of the trial really well. He was so beautiful and relaxed during the race, he’s as good as we’ve ever had him, and it showed today.
“No doubt, Kharisma was the hardest to beat. He won 10 races for a reason, and he would’ve been in Nowyousee’s position in the running, and would have injected more speed into the race.
“He would have been a serious challenger, so it’s a shame for connections he came out, but it was good for our side.”
With a record of six from six, Lim’s Kosciuszko, who is named after Australia’s highest mountain, has now hit past the $220,000 mark for the Lim’s Stable.
Bred by Trelawney Stud, Lim's Kosciuszko was passed in as a two-year-old at the Ready To Run Sales and then sold privately after winning his first and only trial in New Zealand when under the care of Clayton Chipperfield.
Lim's Kosciuszko is the first foal out of Keeper mare Jacquetta, winner of the Listed Welcome Stakes, as well as a Group Two placegetter.
Trelawney Stud will offer a Almazor half-sister at the upcoming New Zealand Bloodstock Yearling Sale as lot 334. -STC, Trelawney Stud