Lim's Lightning out till end of the season
The 2021 Singapore Gold Cup champion will not defend his title, sidelined by a leg injury
Another big name to give the last two Kranji majors a miss is Lim’s Lightning.
In recent weeks, leading fancies Katak and Tiger Roar have dropped out of the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Cup (1,800m) on Oct 15 and Group 1 Singapore Gold Cup (2,000m) on Nov 19.
They were casualties of a fetlock and knee injury respectively.
With Lim’s Lightning, the 2021 Singapore Gold Cup winner, staying in his box, the two events will be robbed of even more gloss.
The reigning Singapore Horse of the Year became a non-runner after meeting with yet another last-minute mishap.
“The day before the Lion City Cup, we picked something up, and unfortunately, we had to scratch him,” said his trainer, Daniel Meagher.
“Luckily, we gave him a rest or he could have hurt himself even more seriously in the race.
“It’s a mild injury of the back leg, which is not serious, but serious enough to give him a break.
“Lim’s Lightning is out for the rest of the year. He’s actually recovering well and looks terrific.
“But he’s been so good to us, we thought it’d be better to pull up stumps. He’ll come back next year.”
The Lim’s Stable’s four-time Group 1 winner is no stranger to sensational withdrawals from Cup races at the eleventh hour.
In 2021, following his commanding victory in the Group 1 Raffles Cup (1,600m), he was all the rage in the QEII Cup market in October.
But, on the eve of the feature race, a freak fall led to minor shoulder cuts and bruises.
Ultimately, he was scratched.
The son of Lope De Vega, however, bounced back with a third Group 1 success in the Singapore Gold Cup in November.
But, restricted by his lofty rating of 113 points, he had only two starts at this campaign.
The seven-year-old still claimed the Group 1 Kranji Mile (1,600m) in May, which was to be his last 2022 start.
Lim’s Kosciuszko, who is often dubbed as his heir apparent, ran nowhere in that race.
But the Kermadec five-year-old showed he was worthy of filling those big shoes in the Group 1 Singapore Derby (1,800m) and the Lion City Cup.
Some might extrapolate that stable No. 1 role to the QEII Cup and even the Singapore Gold Cup, but Meagher has eschewed that pathway.
Though Lim’s Kosciuszko is a Derby winner, the trainer was not fully convinced he could stay all day.
With not many sprint options left on the Singapore racing calendar, he has cast his net a bit further afield.
“When the invitations opened this week, we’ve nominated him for the Hong Kong Sprint,” Meagher said.
“We’re now waiting for an official invite. We won’t have any confirmation until November.”
The HK$24 million (S$4.4 million) Group 1 Longines Hong Kong Sprint (1,200m) will be staged at Sha Tin on Dec 11, alongside the other three Group 1 events featured at the yearly Longines Hong Kong International Races.
“Lim’s Kosciuszko is really good. He had three weeks of break (after the Lion City Cup triumph) and I’ve brought him back in work since,” said Meagher.
“He’s had one gallop, and will have four more gallops and two barrier trials.
“I’ll then be looking at the Class 1 race over 1,200m on Singapore Gold Cup day (Nov 19) for his comeback race.”