Another four for in-form Lerner
Frenchman scores with Jungle Cruise, Screen Shot, Lim’s Dreamwalker and Lim’s Force
Merci beaucoup. That is “thank you very much” in French. And that is what racegoers familiar with the romantic language must be saying to jockey Marc Lerner.
After all, for those who have been in the Frenchman’s corner, the rewards were plentiful.
Four winners on Sept 9 (Simon, Lim’s Saltoro, Retallica and Grand Avante) and another quartet of winners – from just six rides – on Saturday.
As for the other jockeys plying their trade at Kranji, the question they are asking must be this: What must they do to rein in the fiery Frenchman?
Right now, the answer seems to be: Nothing much.
Lerner is riding on the crest of a wave. Everything just seems to fall into place for him.
Take his first win of the day – Jungle Cruise in the Open Maiden race – after finishing fifth on the $16 second fancy Lim’s Fuji in the opener.
City Gold Friend was the raging $7 favourite but he was no match for Lerner’s mount, who found an opening 200m out and flew home to beat his rivals.
For the record, Jungle Cruise ($26) was trained by Hideyuki Takaoka, for whom Lerner has been a most loyal go-to jockey.
Then came the next event and, once again, his class shone through as he steered yet another Takaoka-trained runner – Screen Shot ($18) – to earn the cheers.
Takaoka must have been over the moon.
After all, until Jungle Cruise saluted in Race 4 and Screen Shot followed up in the fifth, the Japanese handler had been winless since May 14 when Sousui triumphed.
All three horses are owned by his staunch supporter Big Valley Stable, which raced triple Singapore Gold Cup winner El Dorado.
Back to Lerner. He had a breather and returned for Race 7.
Racegoers were, by then, happy to put their money on Lerner and they sent Lim’s Dreamwalker out as the $10 favourite.
Again, Lerner kept his Steven Burridge-trained mount in a midfield spot and brought him home from the furlong mark.
With a flourish, he swept to the lead and held off a charge by stablemate My Determination, the mount of Simon Kok.
With the wind in his sails, Lerner made it four wins in a row when Lim’s Force – a $30 chance trained by Daniel Meagher – beat the daylights out of Golden Dash and Takhi in Race 8.
Lerner’s final ride of the day, the Stephen Gray-trained Our Pinnacle in the penultimate race, finished 10th.
The four-timer took his season’s tally to 38 winners.
If there were heroes on four legs, three horses deserved to get standing ovations. They were War Room, Ghalib and Lord’s Command.
War Room took the sixth, rewarding his backers with a nice $19 payout, while Ghalib blitzed his rivals to win the 10th when backed down to $7 for the win. As for Lord’s Command, he blew his rivals away, paying $6 for the win.
From the way War Room put away his opposition, few would have guessed that his last race was 609 days ago. But the rust, if there was any, did not show.
As for Ghalib, who made it two from two, the money was spot-on, despite being pitted against some talents like Knippenberg and Hasten, who were second and third respectively.
Lord’s Command was never threatened in his back-to-back bid.
In winning their respective races, War Room, Ghalib and Lord’s Command showed character and class.
If they continue to progress – and they should – it will be hard to keep our eyes off them.
Saturday's Singapore results: sgres17.pdf