Lim's Kosciuszko set for the new season
The Daniel Meagher-trained gelding looks ready for 2022 after a perfect barrier trial
Trials are well, just that. They are run-outs to determine just how effective or suitable or primed a horse is, as he prepares for the real thing – the race.
The belief is that trial winners are the ones who are running into a rich vein of form and the odds are, they will soon win a race. But you do not have to win a trial in order to win a race.
Some horses are better than that and, with these champions-in-waiting, trainers use the trials to give their charges a good stretch-out. Trainer Daniel Meagher must have had that in mind when he sent Lim’s Kosciuszko out yesterday morning.
With Danny Beasley on the reins, the four-year-old did everything right – except winning.
That, we reckon, he reserves for the ones that matter. To him, trials are for loosening up – and loosen up, he did. I would say, he has got his priorities right.
With the field of six effectively split into two groups of four and two, Lim’s Kosciuszko ambled along in front as the Michael Clements stablemates – On Line, Shepherd’s Hymn and Vittoria Perfetta – had their own domestic duel for the lead.
The lead changed hands a few times. But, eventually, it was Vittoria Perfetta who took the honours. He beat On Line by a short head, with Shepherd’s Hymn holding down third spot.
Out of the “medals” was Lim’s Kosciuszko. With Beasley making sure his mount’s strides were free, easy and uncomplicated, he looked pleased on pulling up.
Meagher would also have given the pair the thumbs up.
To those who watched the trial, it was a job well done by the fourth horse, who clocked 61.42sec for the Polytrack 1,000m. The winner was timed at 61.14sec.
Lim’s Kosciuszko was, undoubtedly, one of the finds of the season. We first saw him at the trials in January. That day, he finished last of five. A fortnight later, he showed improvement, running third in that hit-out won by Illustrious.
In all, Lim’s Kosciuszko has had nine trials – more than double his four races. But he won just once.
It tells us one thing. This four-year-old saves his best for the big stage and it has been one encore after another.
Four race starts. Four wins. To the racegoer who is always on the lookout for that free lunch, Lim’s Kosciuszko is a buffet that is growing by the day.
Watch out for when this unbeaten speedster trots out for his 2022 debut. It is going to be five wins from five. He is that good.
Some six weeks ago, on Nov 6, Chivalric Knight put in a dismal performance when last in a Maiden event over 1,400m.
He looked disinterested. He showed no early pace and, overall, he was as flat as a soprano with a bad throat.
We heard he was dry coated and the authorities ordered that he go for a barrier test and a 1,000m gallop before his next start.
Well, the “test” was yesterday and Chivalric Knight was a different horse altogether.
Not only did he jump cleanly, but he also responded to Manoel Nunes’ urging and easily found the front.
Unlike that race in November, there was no economy in effort. Like that bunny in that battery commercial, he just kept going.
He was five lengths clear with a furlong to go and sheer momentum took him home, a length in front of the fast-closing Amore Amore.
Chivalric Knight clocked 60.87sec for the trip and, yes, he passed his tests with flying colours.
Barrier trial results
1 Chivalric Knight (M. Nunes) H
2 Amore Amore (O. Chavez)
3 Flaming Kirin (M. Kellady)
4 Burgundy Lad
5 Coming Fast (M. Zaki)
6 Lim’s Unique (D. Beasley)
Margins and time: 1, 53/4, 13/4, 2, 263/4 (1min 00.87sec)
1 Vittoria Perfetta (I. Saifudin) H
2 On Line H
3 Shepherd’s Hymn (M. Nunes)
4 Lim’s Kosciuszko (Beasley) H
5 Real Success (Chavez)
6 Russian Twist (K. A’Isisuhairi)
Margins and time: Shd, 3/4, 1, 13/4, 1 (1:01.14)
1 Lucky Imperator (C.C. Wong) H
2 Healthy Star (Chavez)
3 Boomba (Nunes)
4 Mister Dynamo (R. Shafiq)
5 Ben Wade
6 Always Innocent (Kellady)
7 Lim’s Samurai (Beasley)
Margins and time: 2, 21/4, 13/4, 13/4, 21/4, 81/2 (1:00.90)