Rising star Lim’s Kosciuszko turned his first attempt at the mile into a one-act affair after he careered away to his eighth win in as many starts in Singapore on Saturday.
The $7 hotpot showed an abundance of speed to lead as usual over the Long Course, but it remained to be seen if the son of Kermadec, who has thus far scored only over 1200m (six wins) and 1400m (one win), could hold off six classy runners, including noted milers like Top Knight and Sacred Croix.
Circuit Mission (A’Isisuhairi Kasim) valiantly tried to close in, but trainer Daniel Meagher's talented four-year-old bounded away to a compelling win in the straight, under hands-and-heels riding from regular partner Danny Beasley.
Lim’s Kosciuszko was eased down close home to record a winning time of 1 min 34.07secs on the Long Course over the mile in the $100,000 Kranji Stakes A race, just 0.79 second away from the course record time set by Magneto in 2015.
By stretching his unblemished record to eight-from-eight, Lim's Kosciuszko has even bettered Kranji’s most famous horse Rocket Man’s record of seven consecutive wins.
Meagher was delighted at the winner’s enclosure as the victory meant they could press on towards the S$1 million Gr.1 Kranji Mile (1600m) target on May 21.
“We tested him over this because the Kranji Mile is coming up, and he passed, so we’ll go for the main race,” said Meagher, currently tied on 13 winners with trainer Ricardo Le Grange on the premiership but who sits back in fourth on a countback for seconds.
“If he didn’t get it, we would then try to get him in the (Group 1) Lion City Cup over the 1200m instead.
“He’s done nothing to show that he won’t get it, and he’s by (sire) Kermadec, so he should get it.
“Obviously, we knew he’d be in front. We just needed him to drop the bit.
“He relaxed pretty well, though he was taken on pretty early I thought, but he showed his true class.
“I was a bit nervous for sure, but it was a pretty soft win today.
“He will most likely run in the Class 1 race over 1400m on April 30.”
The S$300,000 Gr.1 Lion City Cup (1200m) will be held on August 14.
The win looked like a breeze to many, but his Australian rider thought his mount was fresh and “not at his best performance”.
“Today wasn’t his best performance because he had an interrupted preparation,” said Beasley who revealed recently that he has picked stablemate Lim’s Lightning over Lim’s Kosciuszko in the richest race run on local soil.
“He’s got that sprint attitude because that’s how he’d been trained, and he’s done a really good job because it’s been five to six weeks between runs.
“We’ve also given him two trials (before the race) to keep him up to the mark.
“Daniel has changed up his training a bit and presented him today as best as he could.
“I wasn’t worried about other runners but was just concentrating on him because he was running a bit too fresh, so I wanted him to settle a bit better.
“I did not want to fight him, so if he wanted to go a bit quicker, I’d let him be.
“When I saw an opportunity to steady him up, I did.
“He can be a bit better than today. He deserves the chance to go to the Kranji Mile and the (Singapore) Derby.
“I am already committed to Lim’s Lightning. It’s still some weeks away, but as of now, CC will be riding him in the big race.
“I won’t let him get too far out of my sight for sure!”
The S$400,000 Gr.1 Singapore Derby (1800m) is a set weight race opened to four-year-olds and it will be run on July 17.
Bred by Trelawney Stud, Lim’s Kosciuszko has now amassed over S$320,000 in total stakes earnings for the Lim’s Stable.
His half-sister by Almanzor was purchased by Australian-based owner John Wheeler for $55,000 out of Trelawney Stud's New Zealand Bloodstock Yearling Sale draft earlier this month. -STC