Lim's Cruiser eyes Hong Kong
6YO gives his rivals a true belting
To say he won with ease would be the understatement of the year. What Lim's Cruiser did to his rivals on Tuesday night was scary to watch.
He didn't just win that $125,000 Kranji Stakes A sprint. He demolished his rivals which included the highly-fancied Zac Kasa.
It was like Usain Bolt beating a bunch of weekend joggers at MacRitchie.
What now for the champ?
Well, the win certainly earned him a ticket to the HK$18.5 million (S$3.2m) Group 1 Longines Hong Kong Sprint to be run over 1,200m.
Having not raced since his Lion City Cup back-to-back double in May, trainer Stephen Gray somehow made sure that there was no rust along the joints of his champ.
And when the son of Casino Prince found that gap between runners at the 250m mark, his rivals were toast.
What a night it must have been for his rider, apprentice Amirul Ismail.
He had done everything right, from jumping the six-year-old nicely from the gates to having his mount champ on the bit as he came off his fourth spot to slide up to within a length of Faaltless (Simon Kok Wei Hoong) and Zac Kasa (Michael Rodd).
Riding with a supreme confidence - a trait we knew he possessed - Amirul waited just a little longer for the breach to open up a fraction wider before letting rip.
The rest is history.
Lim's Cruiser knew where to head for and it was soon "game over".
Such was the contempt with which they strolled in that the Ipoh-born jockey could afford to glance over his shoulders twice just to make sure the coast was clear.
Lim's Cruiser would eventually win with 21/2 lengths to spare from Special King and Aramco.
As for the $8 favourite Zac Kasa, it was a race best forgotten.
Racing manager Craig Geehman confirmed that the Lim's Stable-owned star had received the call-up from the Hong Kong Jockey Club even before Tuesday's race.
"Regardless how he went, we would have accepted the invitation," said Geehman, deputising for Gray who is in New Zealand buying horses.
"There is a lack of opportunities for him at his level here and Hong Kong has been on his agenda this year. We still have to wait for the final field for the Sprint to be finalised.
"As for Lim's Cruiser, he will be much better off from this run. It looks like he will be getting there (Hong Kong) at his best form, if he makes it."
Whether it's Sha Tin or Kranji next, one man who knew he had ticked a big box on his wish-list was Amirul.
"Like I said before, I've been working this horse from Day 1. I've been waiting for this opportunity to ride him for a long time and this win is personally very satisfying," said the son of jockey-turned-trainer Ismadi Ismail.
Lim's Cruiser has now won eight races and placed six times from 18 starts.