Nature taking its course, Latest Racing News - The New Paper

Nature taking its course

Trainer Lim in no hurry after new charge Surpass Natural scores easy barrier trial win

Comeback horse Surpass Natural lit up yesterday’s barrier trials at Kranji with the only sub-60 hit-out of the morning.

The rising seven-year-old by Caulfield Cup winner Elvstroem was the epitome of speed and poise when leading throughout the 1,000m dash on the Polytrack. 

Adding even more merit to the front-running romp was the way he held Group 3 Merlion Trophy winner Celavi (Louis-Philippe Beuzelin) at bay.

This was even when the speedy mare came breathing down his neck from the backstraight.

Surpass Natural never wilted to cross the line three lengths clear, clocking 59.59 seconds under senior track rider T.R. Barnabas 

The Michael Clements-trained Celavi has also maintained her form since she returned to winning ways at her last start in a Kranji Stakes A race over 1,200m on the Polytrack on April 17.

As for Surpass Natural’s new trainer, Jason Lim, he would be hard pushed to be happier after such a dashing display.

But he still remained guarded about a return to his heyday.

The Singaporean trainer is his fourth. But he would certainly remember Surpass Natural’s exciting early Kranji days in 2019, when he reeled off a five-in-a-row at his first five runs for former Kranji trainer Leticia Dragon.

“He’s a nice horse who came with some issues. But I’m not too sure since when he’s had them,” said Lim.

“He came to me quite okay, though. It’s just that he was unfit, as he had not raced for a while and it took some time to get him fit.

“He’s had three trials with me, and today I wanted T.R. Barnabas to give him a nice blowout.

“I didn’t expect him to run that well, but I was pleasantly surprised. It was quite impressive.

“It’s just a trial, though. As we all know, trials can be quite deceptive at times, and we should not forget that he hasn’t raced for more than a year.”

Surpass Natural’s last start – the only run for trainer Kuah Cheng Tee – came in last year’s Group 1 Lion City Cup (1,200m) in April.

He finished out of the placings, but less than four lengths behind Lim’s Lightning, the amazing winner of last Saturday’s $1 million domestic Group 1 Kranji Mile.

Surpass Natural again showed his handy first-up record, when he posted his sixth win at his first start for trainer Jerome Tan at last year’s inaugural race on Jan 3.

The astute Lim would not have missed that willing disposition when fresh. But he was in no hurry to cast a return date in stone. 

“He’s not far off his comeback, but I haven’t finalised a race yet. I haven’t really looked at the programme,” he said.

“He’s got a high rating of 97 points and there aren’t many races for him in June.

“There was a Class 1 race over 1,100m next week but it was cancelled. There is a Class 2 race over 1,200m on June 18, we’ll see.

“It all depends on how he pulls up this afternoon. I just want to make sure he’s 100 per cent ready before he races again.

“The owners, the New Fortune Stable, are new local owners. I hope they have some fun with this horse.”