LORD’S COMMAND HAS IMPROVED FURTHER: LIM
Trainer is bullish ahead of impressive debut winner’s second start, even on the Polytrack
Going on a smashing introduction to Kranji racegoers three weeks ago, it would be fair to say that Lord’s Command will not stay in Class 4 for too long.
A debut six-length winner in class record time in an Open Maiden race (1,200m) on Aug 27, the Shalaa four-year-old is stepping up in grade to the $50,000 Class 4 race (1,100m) on Saturday.
But while the likes of Buuraq Sixty-One, Cash Cove and First Bowl are no pushovers, none of his 11 rivals really figure among the best Class 4 sprinters going around Kranji these days.
However, there is one element which may still cast a few doubts – the surface.
It would seem that trainer Richard Lim – who rides many of his own horses – has that aspect covered, too.
“He should not have any issues with the Polytrack even if he’s never raced on it in Australia,” said the former jockey.
“He works and trials well on Poly, even if I know racing on it is different.”
Previously racing as Shalatin for Joseph Pride in Australia, Lord’s Command contested exclusively on turf at his 12 starts in and around Sydney.
He was still a maiden when he left Australia but he did finish consistently in the money, with six seconds and one third.
Lim did have an inkling what was under the bonnet from the day he jumped on the gelding during trackwork, but nothing could have prepared him for that awesome show of strength first-up.
“I didn’t expect him to win the way he did that day. I must say he surprised us, and Nunes was also impressed,” he said.
“He has pulled up well since. It’s been three weeks between runs and he’s in good order.”
When asked to elaborate further on the gelding’s progress with regards to his first run, Lim’s response could not have been more ominous to his rivals.
“The horse has actually come back fitter as he was not 100 per cent at his first run. He’s definitely improved,” he said.
With Nunes unsurprisingly staying on board and the barrier gods again dealing the same card at the barriers – No. 4 – it would take a brave man to tip against a two-from-two from Lord’s Command on Saturday.
Lim would still be looking for other answers and pointers from that race.
He saddles two other runners, Magic Master and V’Invincible, to be partnered by jockeys Matthew Kellady and Ronnie Stewart respectively.
A few more question marks hover over the duo, but Lim has not given up on them as future prospects, even if he would be surprised to see them roll their much better fancied stablemate on Saturday.
“Magic Master showed speed on debut and led, but he was very green,” said Lim, about the So You Think four-year-old, who had some trouble taking the turns.
“I then put a crossover noseband on him in a trial (Sept 7) where I rode him myself.
“He behaved better. He will win a race one day.”
Lim was less complimentary of his third runner, V’Invincible, but would not write off a horse after only two dismal runs, especially as the subject was not totally devoid of talent.
“V’Invincible has disappointed us. He works well but he’s not shown a lot in his races,” he said.
“We were expecting a lot better from him. At his first run, he was caught wide without cover and got tired, but he ran slightly better at his second start.”
The I Am Invincible five-year-old raced as Video for leading Australian owner Seymour Bloodstock – owner of two-time Kranji winner Foreshadow – and leading trainers Ciaron Maher and David Eustace in Melbourne.
He registered two wins from seven starts in country Victoria before he moved to Singapore.
“V’Invincible trialled well last week (Sept 7),” added Lim.
“Hopefully, he can show some improvement this Saturday.”