No stopping Kosi in EW Barker, Latest Racing News - The New Paper

No stopping Kosi in EW Barker

Reigning Singapore Horse of the Year all set to chalk up win No. 19 in handicap feature

They say weight can stop trains, but Lim’s Kosciuszko has proven time and again that adage does not quite apply to him.

From his 22 starts, he has shouldered 58kg or more six times for just the one time he was derailed – in the 2023 Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Cup (1,800m), when beaten a lip by the bravado of Hongkong Great’s tearaway tactics.

As recently as at his last outing on March 23, when he was resuming since his gallant ninth to world champion Golden Sixty in the Group 1 Hong Kong Mile (1,600m) at Sha Tin on Dec 10, he strolled in lumping 59.5kg.

Adding even more merit to the comeback victory – and 18th all-up – was trainer Daniel Meagher’s confirmation that his precious charge was still undercooked.

The Australian is unlikely to sound like a disgruntled Gordon Ramsay again at his next start in the $150,000 Group 2 EW Barker Trophy (1,400m) on April 21.

Lim’s Kosciuszko, or Kosi for short, has peaked to perfection going with the barrier trial where he took a scenic drive on the outside, but still ran fourth to the brilliant Golden Monkey, hard-held under Marc Lerner.

Only just roped in on the champion since regular partner Wong Chin Chuen ran foul of the stipes and moved to South Korea, Lerner will be keen to extend his two-from-two record on the Lim’s Stable stalwart in the handicap feature.

The Frenchman’s recent trip up north to snag the Group 1 Perak Derby (2,000m) on Trumpy for trainer Lawson Moy on April 7 was the perfect appetiser for another silverware back on home soil.

Meagher did think long and hard before entering the 118-point rater in the EW Barker Trophy – given the weight he would give all round in the assignment which is only one month away from his title defence in the $1 million Group 1 Kranji Mile (1,600m) on May 18.

But, truth be told, the differential is a fair reflection on at least the next two challengers – Golden Monkey and Super Salute – both on 105 points, hence sitting 6.5kg lower on 52.5kg.

The other nine runners get the denoted minimum weight of 50kg which, technically, puts all of them under sufferance vis-a-vis Lim’s Kosciuszko.

On paper, he is fighting on level terms with only Golden Monkey and defending champion Super Salute.

But on recent form, the nod goes to Golden Monkey for the runner-up spot, even if jockey Chad Schofield will ride him 2kg over.

Tim Fitzsimmons’ game chestnut may not ever shed his tag as “Singapore’s second-best horse”, especially with only six months left before Kranji closes its doors.

But with Schofield, who boasts a perfect two-from-two record at his big-race missions on the Star Turn five-year-old, flying in again from Sydney, connections can aspire to a better result than Golden Monkey’s luckless last-start fourth in the Group 3 Committee’s Prize (1,600m) on March 9.

He is clearly the next best and, from barrier No. 1, should win the battle for the minors.

With two seconds in his last two outings, in the Fortune Bowl and Committee’s Prize, it is hard to leave Street Of Dreams out of the quartet.

The awkward alley in eight should not faze him.

In the Committee’s Prize, he drew 12 from 13, but his early toe allowed him to clear traffic and avoid getting caught in no man’s land.

Bestseller tends to slip under the radar in feature races but he has already proven his worth twice.

The four-year-old may have to grow another leg at his first encounter with Lim’s Kosciuszko, though.

The dual Group 3 winner should be thereabouts for a long way but may find this lot a touch too classy.