Lim's Stable fires up a treble, Latest Racing News - The New Paper

Lim's Stable fires up a treble

Lim’s Saltoro’s fourth win on the trot the highlight of leading team’s red-letter day

The powerful Lim’s Stable-Daniel Meagher-Marc Lerner team were the heroes of the day after they scored a brilliant hat-trick of wins on March 2.

It was already happy faces all round at the Kranji winner’s circle when the dynamic trio’s two top picks (from 11 runners), Lim’s Smythe ($10) and Lim’s Saltoro ($7), were right on target in Races 2 and 8 respectively.

But the smiles grew even wider when $33 shot Lim’s Bestbreaker joined the party in the penultimate race of the 11-race programme, the $50,000 Class 4 race over the Polytrack mile.

As usual, Meagher said he was no one-man band, but he also highlighted the depth in the trifecta.

“It’s all good teamwork. It’s great for Mr Lim Siah Mong and Marc,” he said.

“To get wins over 1,400m on grass, 1,200m on Poly and 1,600m on Poly is also very satisfying.”

Meagher said the third win was a bonus, but not really a surprise.

“He’s a nice bread-and-butter horse,” said the Australian handler. “He trialled so good last Thursday (Feb 22).

“I thought the 58.5kg would test him today, but he was very game. Marc also rode him a treat.”

Big imposts are always a query, but on closer scrutiny, the Battle Paint seven-year-old did not really come under much sufferance.

At his last-start win over the same course and distance on Feb 3, five from the beaten brigade were back in the line-up on March 2: runner-up Mesmerizing, Roda Robot, Super Baby, Blue Idol and Forget Romance.

Interestingly, he gave weight to all of them bar Mesmerizing then, and at the rematch as well – with only minor weight differentials after his short-head win.

In other words, on weights and measures, Lim’s Bestbreaker had every chance of going back-to-back. He duly delivered with another searching run from the rear to win again.

The winning time of 1min 38.82sec, only 0.33sec slower than at his last victory, was also testament to the handicapper’s fair play in ensuring a system where consistency is rewarded.

Long shot Prioritize (Amirul Ismadi) nearly caused a boilover at his first run for trainer Richard Lim, but had to settle for second place with race-leader Blue Idol (Carlos Henrique) hanging on for third another ½-length away.

On the other hand, the pressure was a lot higher for the two Lim’s Stable fancies.

Lim’s Smythe was well backed to open his account at his fifth start in the $20,000 Open Maiden (1,400m), but the stable buzz had all week been around Lim’s Saltoro.

Already touted as the “next Lim’s Kosciuszko”, the Shamexpress four-year-old was trying to stay unbeaten with a fourth success in the $50,000 Class 4 Division 1 race (1,200m).

He, however, looked vulnerable after sitting as the meat in the sandwich of a three-way speed battle with Southern Speed (Manoel Nunes) and Pacific Charm (Koh Teck Huat).

When he finally shook them off, new trouble appeared when Pacific MV (Vlad Duric) loomed as the fresh horse on the scene.

But all the hype about Lim’s Saltoro had not been exaggerated.

Down but not out, he valiantly reclaimed the ascendancy to hit the line first with a neck to spare.

“There was a lot of pressure before the race. We knew there’d be a lot of pace,” said Meagher.

“But, no choice, we expected them to take him on. Marc knows the horse, and I left it to him.

“Vlad later jumped off and said he had to be a bloody good horse to do what he did today.

“He’s won all his races by racing up on the speed, but I think he’ll be a better horse when he chases.”

Lerner, who missed out only on the last-start win (Bruno Queiroz rode), was proud of Lim’s Saltoro for his never-say-die attitude.

“I was happy to be back on him,” said the French jockey.

“The race was not ideal. We had pressure on the outside from TH Koh.

“But I rode him like the best horse in the race. I wasn’t too worried when the other horse came up to us.

“I knew he had saved some petrol, and when he pinned his ears back, he went again. I’ve always believed he’ll be better as a chaser.”

Lerner shared the riding honours with Queiroz, who, thanks to his treble on Summer Wind ($14), Jungle Cruise ($23) and Pacific Commander ($11), reclaimed the lead from Nunes.

The two Brazilians are tied on 18 winners, but Queiroz leads the five-time Singapore champion jockey – who won one on Eruption ($9) – on a countback for seconds.