Danny Beasley was in awe when he gave Lim’s Kosciuszko (Kermadec x Jacquetta) a squeeze inside the concluding stages of the Class 2 race over 1200m in Singapore on Saturday.
Just like everybody else, the Australian jockey was blown away by the rising star’s impeccable record of seven wins from as many starts at Kranji – putting him only five wins away from Better Than Ever’s Malayan Racing Association record of 12 wins in a row.
But what really had Beasley shaking his head in disbelief as he jumped off was the instant reaction he got when he stepped on the gas at the 400m.
“From the 400m to the 200m, he probably did it in 9 ½ seconds when I said ‘let’s go’,” he said.
“I then switched him off knowing he had the race won. Don’t get me wrong, the runner-up (Gold Star) ran a great race, but I was in neutral gear so to speak inside the last 200m.”
From his handy barrier, Lim’s Kosciuszko led out, but as was to be expected from the speedmap, he soon had Makkem Lad (Iskandar Rosman) and Fame Star (Wong Chin Chuen) for company three abreast.
Shouldering only 54.5kgs, the Kermadec four-year-old was almost toying with the opposition as he ambled into the home straight, all coiled up for his coup de grace.
The 200m blitz Beasley waxed lyrical about left his eight challengers – that included Group nobility like Minister and Mr Malek and other top performers like Rocket Star and Makkem Lad – with windburn. Only the less heralded Gold Star (Jake Bayliss) jumped out of the pack to pull some ground off, but Beasley had already throttled the lever down.
Lim’s Kosciuszko held Gold Star at bay by half-a-length - much to the chagrin of new Australian jockey Bayliss who was at his Singapore debut - while the battle for third place was won by the resuming Rocket Star (Manoel Nunes), who lost no admirers with his first-up effort from a long layoff (seven months) due to respiratory issues.
Unsurprisingly, following the sizzling pace set from the get-go, Lim’s Kosciuszko clocked a time hovering around record time – 1min 8.65secs, half a second slower than Spalato (2014).
“That has to be close to record time,” said Beasley, while wondering what could have been if he had not lifted the foot off the pedal.
“He’s a horse who keeps doing his job so professionally. He’s very tough this horse and I’m not surprised he ran time.
“The only thing today was he got a break of two and a half weeks between races, and he did really well after his last win.
“We would have been more confident if it was two weeks as we have to keep holding him together for a few days longer, keep him cool.
“But it’s worked out okay in the end. I had no plan to ride him like that today, but he began the best and crossing the horses on his inside was easy.
“I was expecting Fame Star and Makkem Lad to come around, but my bloke can keep building momentum when pressured. He is very competitive and just wants to race.
“I tried to keep him as balanced as I could and didn’t let him go until the straight. To win seven from seven and the way he did it today showed he was definitely above average.”
Winning trainer Daniel Meagher joined Beasley in his enthusiastic post-race assessment of their new pin-up horse – arguably still a long way from the multiple-Group 1 winning deeds of their undisputed kingpin Lim’s Lightning, but the happy headache of having the pair on a collision course towards the same race is real – the Group 1 Kranji Mile (1600m) on May 21.
“This horse has been teaching me a lot, basically on how to keep him right on top,” said Meagher.
“He’s ultra-competitive, but he did score a soft win today when Dan eased him up. There’s more to him, but he’s so easy to read.
“He can get above himself and we have to keep him happy till raceday. But we saw what he can do today, the sky’s the limit with him.
“We’ll look at the Class 1 1200m on March 19 for him next, and then if he goes through his grades, it’s on to the Kranji Mile.
“If he does, then Danny will have a problem (deciding between Lim’s Lightning and Lim’s Kosciuszko in the $1 million race), but we’re not at that stage yet. Let’s just enjoy this seven from seven for today.”
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