Lim's Kosciuszko the best by two Miles, Latest Racing News - The New Paper

Lim's Kosciuszko the best by two Miles

Nothing can stop Meagher’s champion as he equals Rocket Man’s 20-win record

Kranji megastar Lim’s Kosciuszko produced yet another exhilarating performance to record back-to-back wins in the $1 million Group 1 Kranji Mile (1,600m) on May 18.

The $7 favourite was hard to topple at set weights, even with nine of Kranji’s finest milers all out to claim his scalp.

They came, they saw, but they just could not conquer a bomb-proof machine yet again – even if one did try to turn giant-killer late.

Leader Street Of Dreams (Bernardo Pinheiro) kept him honest on his outside from the start.

But as Lim’s Kosciuszko (Marc Lerner) came upsides barely out of second gear upon cornering, it was “goodbye and sweet dreams”.

The chasers were also struggling when Singapore’s kingpin put two lengths on them.

It was the script most had expected on a level-playing field: The cream rising to the top.

However, Dream Alliance, launched by a visiting jockey who knows all about landing big-race coups, dared to do the unthinkable – challenge the champ.

Mark Zahra, who successfully raided the Group 1 Singapore Gold Cup with Hongkong Great in 2022, had the $122 shot eating into the margin with every big stride.

Lim’s Kosciuszko was not rattled, though, holding his audacious defier safely at bay with 1¼ lengths to spare. Golden Monkey (Chad Schofield) ran on to take third place, another two lengths away.

Interestingly, fourth place went to Raising Sixty-One (Bruno Queiroz), which means Tim Fitzsimmons would have claimed the trifecta if not for Lim’s Kosciuszko’s insatiable hunger for wins.

Not only was the Kermadec six-year-old taking his Group 1 tally to eight, but, by posting his 20th win, he was equalling a record held by a horse he is often benchmarked against, Rocket Man.

Patrick Shaw’s champion, however, won two of them overseas, including Singapore’s first Group 1 win on foreign soil, the Dubai Golden Shaheen in 2011.

With five months to go before Singapore racing disappears, the record will be broken. The $3.15 million in stakes will also keep swelling – but not past Rocket Man’s all-time high $6.7 million.

But, to Australian trainer Daniel Meagher, anything his “Kosi” does from now on is just a bonus.

“He’s just a freak, isn’t he? What else can you do?” he said.

“He’s won 20 races, he’s a fantastic horse. There was a bit of pressure on Marc, but he’s done a great job with the horse.”

The French jockey, who first got onto the Kosi express with the 2023 Singapore Gold Cup win, now boasts a four-from-four on him.

“I didn’t want to go that early to be honest, especially on the long course. I was happy three-quarter of Street Of Dreams,” he said.

“It looks like he dropped instantaneously at the 600m. Just by myself, I ended up getting the lead.

“He just went for it. I just kept him easy for as long as I could.

“My brother (Yann, a jockey-turned-trainer in France) and his wife came today. There was a lot of pressure, it was good to deliver.”

The party mood in the Meagher camp was, however, soured by the sight of their second runner Tiger Roar pulling up lame past the line.

“I think it’s his ligament. I hope he’s okay,” said Meagher.