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Lim keeps Dancer on his toes

Cosmic Dancer aims to double the dose, but faces a much stiffer task in Class 4 company

Ideally, trainer Jason Lim would rather space his horses’ runs by at least three weeks, but he was more than happy to buck the trend for debut winner Cosmic Dancer.

This Monday’s $50,000 Class 4 race over 1,200m on Polytrack looked right up the alley of the former Peter and Paul Snowden-trained galloper.

But Lim felt it was too close for comfort, given Cosmic Dancer’s victory in an Open Maiden race over 1,100m came on the first 2023 race meeting on Jan 7.

However, Cosmic Dancer’s recovery rate has been quicker than expected. It was too good an opportunity to pass up.

“It wasn’t the plan to back him up after two weeks,” said Lim.

“But he pulled up so well, and is still so fresh. He’s also working even better.

“I spoke with Manoel Nunes and he agreed with me that he has come through his race very well. So we thought why not run him in this race on Chinese New Year.

“It’s the right race for him. It’s got better horses, but let’s see if he can measure up.”

The likes of Street Cry Success, First Bowl and Last Samurai certainly make for a slicker opposition than the maideners he accounted for, but Lim is confident he will not be disgraced.

“I can’t say for sure if he’ll win again, but what I can promise you is he’ll run a nice race,” he said.

“For sure, he’ll be one of the favourites, especially with the Nunes factor and a good barrier (three).”

Cosmic Dancer was a bargain buy Lim picked up for only A$7,000 (S$6,400) at the Inglis Digital Sale in March 2022.

A second win will no doubt give connections, who include Lim’s father Simon, more cause for celebration, as well as an auspicious red packet.

“I hope he can dance into the new year a winner. Let’s hope he can bring me and the owners some luck,” said Lim.

“I’m not looking that far ahead with him, so I’m not even looking at the Singapore Three-Year-Old Challenge, which is run on turf, anyway. To me, he’s just a Polytrack 1,200m horse – for now.

“At his only start in Australia, he ran last in a turf race on heavy track at Kembla Grange. That was when I thought he might be a Polytrack horse.

“But if he keeps stepping up, we may then raise our target.”

The Singapore Three-Year-Old Challenge is restored to its full glory of all three legs in 2023.

The series has been abridged to a two-legged version since 2020 when the pandemic brought about sweeping changes to Singapore racing fixtures and feature races.

The back-to-normal version kicks off with the Group 3 Singapore Three-Year-Old Sprint (1,200m) on April 8, followed by the Group 2 Singapore Three-Year-Old Classic (1,400m) on April 29 and the Group 2 Singapore Guineas (1,600m) on May 20.

Lim saddles only two other runners at the traditional meeting on the second day of the Chinese New Year.

Prestige Star (formerly War Commander) contests the $75,000 Novice race (1,200m), while Sky Eye, one of his top performers from 2022, runs in the day’s highlight, the $100,000 Kranji Stakes A race (1,200m).

He cannot fault their form, but would be surprised if they bring up a bountiful harvest.

“They are in tough races. I would say Cosmic Dancer remains my best chance,” said Lim.

HORSE RACING