All eyes on Lion City Cup
Sunday’s field in Singapore’s Group 1 premier sprint is one of the strongest seen in years
It is a capacity field for this Sunday’s $300,000 Group 1 Lion City Cup, Singapore’s premier sprint over 1,200m on turf.
While quality excelled over quantity on many occasions, this time racegoers can expect an exciting race with so many live chances in the 16-horse line-up.
It is a race with a gilt edge, one in which the rising stars will challenge the present heroes for that piece of Lion City Cup history.
Trainer Daniel Meagher appears to have the strongest hand with his stable prides –Lim’s Lightning, the highest-rated horse at Kranji and the defending champion, and Lim’s Kosciuszko, the last-start Group 1 Singapore Derby winner.
But both will be coming back from their last-start middle-distance victories to a sprint, which is not ideal. Having said that, they are the best around and a champion knows no bounds.
Interestingly, Meagher has entered four horses for Sunday and all are for the Lion City Cup. The other two – Lim’s Dream and Watch Out Boss – may look a bit outclassed with their low ratings.
Contenders such as Grand Koonta, Kharisma, Mr Malek, Gold Star, Fame Star and Celavi are solid top-class performers who can rise to the occasion on their day.
But the interesting runners who will likely pose as the big threats are the two rising gallopers – hat-trick hero King Arthur and Golden Monkey, who swept the Group 3 Singapore Three-Year-Old Sprint (1,200m) and the Group 2 Singapore Three-Year-Old Classic (1,400m) with great authority.
Both horses looked picture perfect on the training track yesterday morning.
Trained by the top-form Donna Logan, King Arthur sped over 600m beautifully in 38.4 seconds with apprentice jockey Yusoff Fadzli astride.
There is no telling how good he is but his last two wins – in 1min 8.69sec and 1:08.50 over 1,200m in Classes 2 and 1 respectively – clearly indicated he is a top horse in the making.
The Tim Fitzsimmons-trained Golden Monkey has already exhibited his turbo engine which he can put to good use on Sunday.
It will certainly be his stiffest test, from his own-age group to open Group race. But he is no doubt a quality horse worthy of the Lion City Cup.
Golden Monkey looked a million dollars when he cantered two rounds on the Polytrack yesterday morning.
“Yes, he is feeling very well,” said Fitzsimmons.
Of the few gallops for the race, trainer Ricardo Le Grange’s seven-year-old Hongkong Great was the most impressive under Vlad Duric.
The eight-time winner – from his overseas career in Chile, America and Hong Kong – has improved vastly since his warm-up sixth over 1,200m at Kranji on July 17.
He could surprise. If he wins, Duric will become the first jockey to win the Lion City Cup four times since its inception in 1974. The four-time Kranji champion scored on Zac Spirit in 2016, Aramco in 2019 and Inferno in 2020.
The late English legend Lester Piggott won it three years in a row – with Blue Star in 1976 and 1977, and with Gentle Jim in 1978.
Former multiple champion Saimee Jumaat was successful on Fischer in 1997 and 1999, and on Ninetyfive Emperor in 2005.
Yesterday’s fast work by horses engaged at Kranji on Sunday:
SG1 LION CITY CUP – 1,200M
Kharisma (M. Lerner) 37.3.
Hongkong Great H (V. Duric) 35.4.
King Arthur H (F. Yusoff) 38.4.
Sacred Gift H (B. Woodworth) 36.8.
Nowyousee (Lerner) canter/43.8.
Monday: Celavi H 37.
CLASS 1 – 1,600M
Katak H 40.
Sacred Croix H (L. Beuzelin) 40.2.
Hard Too Think H (Duric) 38.3.
Big Hearted H 37.5.
Pennywise H (T. Krisna) galloped.
Trumpy H (K. A’Isisuhairi) 41/34.
Senor Don 39.5.
CLASS 3 (1) - 1,200M
Songgong Hera pace work.
CLASS 3 (2) - 1,200M
The August H 38.4.
Chicago Star H 42.4.
I Am Sacred 45.8.
Ironchamp H 37.2.
CLASS 4 – 1,600M
Bingo Master H 39.2.
CLASS 4 - 1,400M
Karisto H 37.5.
Eagle Eye H (K. Hakim) 38.8.
Legacy Fortune H (P.H. Seow) 38.7.
Lim’s Craft H (B. Pinheiro) 40.2.
Dancing Tycoon H (C.C. Wong) 40.3.
Griffin (I. Saifudin) 37.9.
Prodigal H galloped/35.2.
Chivalric Knight 35.6.
Wecando (Beuzelin) 37.2.
Monday: Fighter (M. Ibrahim) 37.4.
CLASS 4 (1) – 1,200M
Pattaya H (Duric) 43/34.
Fortune Changer H 44.5.
Augustano H (B. Shinn) 40.9.
Buuraq H 43.4.
Zygarde H (A’Isisuhairi) canter/43.1.
Wawasan H 35.5.
CLASS 4 (2) – 1,200M
Sacred Judgement H 38.2.
No More Delay canter/43.9.
Fadaboy H (Shinn) 40.7.
Sun Rectitude 36.3.
The Shadow H (Ibrahim) 37.5.
Absolvido (W.H. Kok) 37.6.
CLASS 5 - 1,600M
Malibu Beach H (Pinheiro) 42.1.
Sun Ace 38.2.
Super Atas H 40.1.
Khao Manee H (Wong) 40.4.
What You Like (N. Zyrul) 38.1.
Diamond Mine H (Kok) canter/35.4.
Cizen Lucky 36.8.
Monday: Fortune Star H 42.3.
CLASS 5 (1) - 1,400M
Thunder H (Duric) 42.1.
Hwasong (Lerner) 42.3.
Runminderbinderrun H (Shinn) 40.2.
Cizen Boss 39.8.
CLASS 5 (2) – 1,400M
Exceed Natural H 36.2.
Crown Dancing (M. Ewe) 39.4.
Lord Of Cloud (Wong) 38.2.
Big Day H (Wong) 39.1.
Global Spirit H canter/43.
Turf Beauty 37.3.
NOVICE – 1,400M
Montana Flash H (J. Bayliss) 41.7.
Trident H (S. Jamil) 39.9.
Street Of Dreams H (Kok) 39.6.
Amazing M canter/43.2.