Class 3 next for Lord's Command
Another sterling win from Richard Lim’s promising sprinter earns him eight points
Trainer Richard Lim’s prayers that the handicapper would be lenient on Lord’s Command were not answered – as expected.
After the Shalaa four-year-old ran rings around his Class 4 rivals at a first Polytrack test over 1,100m on Saturday to bring up a second win in as many starts, the second-season handler somehow knew four to five points were wishful thinking.
Raised by only one point to 61 after his Open Maiden debut win in a 1,200m event on turf three weeks earlier, Lord’s Command was slapped with a much heftier eight points this time.
Lim can now put a line through that Class 4 race over 1,200m on turf on Sept 30.
“I was hoping he didn’t get more than six points, but he got eight. He’ll have to run in Class 3 from now on, but to be fair, he was quite good in Class 4,” said Lim.
“But it won’t be this week’s Class 3 race over 1,200m. I was thinking maybe next week’s Class 3 race over 1,000m.
“Two weeks between runs is no problem for him. He had quite a soft run on Saturday, he’s pulled up good.
“If he doesn’t run, there is no Class 3 until the end of October.”
However, Lim was not going to cut any corners with a horse who is arguably his most exciting prospect at the minute.
The Group 3 Merlion Trophy (1,200m) on Oct 28 has even been bandied around as a possible target for the Lordship Stable’s ward, but Lim is keeping his cards close to his chest.
“This horse gives us a lot of hope. He continues to improve,” he said.
“I’m not sure if he’s Group material, though. It’s still too early, for now, I’ll just look after him.
“He’ll have to go through his grades.”
With aggregate margins of close to 10 lengths in two wins, Lord’s Command channels a lot of his more illustrious stablemates Super Salute, Sky Eye and even General Command.
But his trainer would rather keep a lid on any hyperboles for now. If anything, he does not see him as the finished article yet.
“He was still very keen on Saturday. He’s got to settle down if he is to go even further,” said the former jockey.
“But he’s a very nice horse and we’ll give him all the time he needs.”
While Lim would have been surprised if the odds-on favourite ($6) came unstuck, he was also looking forward to improved runs from his other duo of V’Invincible (Ronnie Stewart) and Magic Master (Matthew Kellady).
Though they finished outside of the placings, Lim was still happy with V’Invincible’s fourth and Magic Master’s seventh at mammoth odds of $443 and $299 respectively.
“V’Invincible was one-paced and may need a step-up in distance,” he said.
“Magic Master was okay. He also needs a longer trip, he’s still learning.”
While Lim had to wait until the last race to see whether Lord’s Command would justify his tag as the nap of the day, the anxiety was eased off a tad with an earlier winner.
Lim bookended the meeting with $13 favourite Captain Singapore (Bernardo Pinheiro) claiming the opener, the $30,000 Class 5 race (1,100m).
“Captain Singapore will now go back to Class 4. Before that, he was not up to Class 4, but won well in Class 5,” said Lim.
“On Saturday, he was caught four wide, but it was better than dropping him back for cover and riding him for luck.
“He needs to be left alone to settle into his stride.”
Pinheiro enjoyed less luck with his six remaining rides later in the afternoon, but the Brazilian jockey bounced back up North the next day with a win in the Group 1 Selangor Gold Cup on Pasir Pinji.
The Nadeem seven-year-old was a modest one-time winner in Open Maiden company for Donna Logan at Kranji, but has improved out of sight across the Causeway when moved to Kuala Lumpur trainer Simon Dunderdale.
The Group 1 triumph in the annual Sungei Besi mile feature capped a haul of nine wins for his new owner Yee King Kong.
Pinheiro also bagged a double, having earlier scored aboard Master Baby, while Kranji-based Singaporean apprentice jockey Clyde Leck went one better with a hat-trick of wins.
Malaysia’s dual champion senior-apprentice jockey has not been as prolific on his home turf. In a little over one month at Kranji, he has only one win to show for, aboard May at his first day at the office on Aug 6.