Lim's Lightning can strike twice in LCC
Trainer Meagher and jockey Beasley bullish on the chances of the reigning Horse of the Year
Already hailed as one of Singapore racing greats with his four Group 1 feats from 1,200m to 2,000m in just 13 months, Lim’s Lightning will attempt to take his imperious record to another level at Kranji tomorrow.
There is every reason to believe the reigning Horse of the Year can achieve the Lion City Cup double in Race 11 (5pm), despite meeting one of the strongest fields seen in years in the $300,000 feature.
His rivals include his capable stablemate and last-start Singapore Derby winner Lim’s Kosciuszko and the circuit’s two rising stars – King Arthur and Golden Monkey.
If he wins, he will be the eighth horse to land Singapore’s premier sprint classic twice – and the sixth to score back to back, after Blue Star (1976/1977), Added Advantage II (1982/1983), Jingle Bell IV (1984/1985), Superb Effect (2000/2001) and Lim’s Cruiser (2017/2018).
Fischer won in 1997 and 1999, while Zac Spirit was successful in 2014 and 2016.
For the record, Singapore’s international equine celebrity Rocket Man won the 1,200m classic four years in a row – from 2009 to 2012.
Trained by Daniel Meagher and owned by the powerful Lim’s Stable, which also raced Lim’s Cruiser, Lim’s Lightning has what it takes to secure the Lion City Cup double.
Most significantly, he is the highest rated horse in Singapore, so to shoulder the same weight as his rivals gives him the best advantage.
He will carry 57.5kg like the rest, except for the mare Celavi, who gets a 1.5kg gender allowance.
While certain quarters may argue that he is coming back from his Kranji Mile victory over 1,600m to 1,200m, do remember that Lim’s Lightning is no ordinary thoroughbred.
He has something which most horses do not possess – versatility.
After his Lion City Cup success 13 months ago, he went on to win the Raffles Cup over 1,600m, the Singapore Gold Cup over 2,000m and capped his Group 1 exploits with the Kranji Mile on May 21 this year.
Meagher is maintaining a similar preparation for his charge and has come out happy as a lark.
He gave his seven-year-old a freshen up and three “quiet” trials for tomorrow’s big race.
Although Lim’s Lightning did not win his heats – finishing fifth, third and last but close-up – it was evident jockey Danny Beasley had a lapful of horse underneath him.
“He’s gotten fitter with each trial. He’s ready to go,” said Meagher, whose father, John, won the race with Arenti in 2006.
Beasley agrees that Lim’s Lightning is spot-on.
He said his mount has “really been going along nicely since his win in the Kranji Mile” and his final trial “exceeded my expectations”.
“His last 200m was very pleasing, so he can’t be much better than he is now,” added the Australian.
“The weight-for-age conditions set it up for the good horses and, touch wood, he is in good-enough form to win.”
Lim’s Lightning won from the widest draw last year. He came from the rear to swoosh home to beat Rocket Star by 3/4 lengths in 1min 09.14sec.
He is drawn beautifully in pole position tomorrow and can sit behind the expected fast tempo on the shortest route home.
Sounding bullish, Meagher was not concerned even if his charge had drawn the BKE again.
“I don’t think what gate he draws will bother him. He won from Gate 13 last year, so he has every chance to go back-to-back.”
They say lightning does not strike twice. Well, it is just an idiom.
This is an ultra-classy horse we are talking about. After all, the trainer and jockey have spoken.