It's all systems go for Lim's Kosciuszko
Meagher’s Kranji superstar ready for his biggest test in Sunday’s Group 1 HK Sprint
Since arriving in Hong Kong last Thursday, Kranji’s equine superstar Lim’s Kosciuszko has pleased his connections by taking everything in his stride for Sunday’s Group 1 Longines Hong Kong Sprint over 1,200m at Sha Tin racecourse.
There is nothing trainer Daniel Meagher could fault his champion, an 11-time winner from 14 starts, including victories in the Group 1 Singapore Derby (1,800m) and Lion City Cup (1,200m).
The Lim’s Stable-owned five-year-old son of Kermadec has licked his food and water bins clean, slept soundly and is enjoying his new surroundings.
And Meagher reckons his champion is “getting better by the day” for his international quest against nine Hong Kong and four Japanese horses.
Victory in the HK$24 million (S$4.23 million) extravaganza will be the ultimate prize in his six-year training career.
Lim’s Kosciuszko certainly looked the part in his workout at Sha Tin on Wednesday morning.
Going the Hong Kong way (clockwise), he cantered well within himself on the dirt track under race-jockey Danny Beasley.
His solid work has been done at Kranji. Over in Hong Kong, it is just a matter of keeping the horse bouncing on his toes and happy.
“He has arrived really well, very happy with him. He has settled in nicely, his weight is just about perfect,” said Meagher.
“He’s eating all his food, he’s drinking a good amount of water and his attitude is very good. He has got better each day.
“Beasley is very happy with him. The horse is getting better each day, just because he knows his surroundings now.
“He’s a professional horse and Beasley is very happy with his actions, so the box is ticked.”
Confirmed the Australian jockey: “The horse is very well, moving really good. Very happy with him.”
Meagher has not really sized up the field but he finds it “amazing” to see all the top thoroughbreds assembled in Hong Kong.
He is well aware that Hong Kong and Japanese horses are world-beaters. The two jurisdictions are strongly represented again.
“I know the two Hong Kong horses – Wellington and Lucky Sweynesse – are the hardest to beat on form.
“And the Japanese horses, they looked really well and looked like they have been training really well also.
“So we’ll look into the race more when the barriers come out.”
Of course, the inside gates will be preferred in a sprint race. This is particularly so for Lim’s Kosciuszko with his abundant speed.
“An inside barrier would be great. It just makes life a lot easier, for Danny and the horse,” said Meagher.
“We know he has got really good speed so, if he is drawn an inside barrier, it just puts him in a naturally good position without having to do too much work.”
Said Beasley: “Obviously, we would like a low draw, just purely and simply, low draws are the best in any race, any track.”
Both jockey and trainer are now keeping their fingers crossed for a giant-killing performance from Lim’s Kosciuszko.
Meagher believes his charge is at the top of his game and just has to be in it to win it.
He is worthy of taking on the world’s best and a dose of luck could see his cry-baby trainer shed buckets of tears to “flood” Sha Tin.
“He has run really quick times, and I think times don’t lie,” said Meagher.
“It’s hard to weigh where he is on the international stage, but I really believe that he’ll run a great race because he has got good speed and puts himself there.
“He hasn’t done much wrong, we are just proud to be here and, hopefully, we can represent well. I’ll be a mess if he wins.”