Pair old but still good as gold
Trainer Meagher gets great satisfaction with three-figure wins from his ageing Red Claw and Lim's Samurai
Winning with a big outsider would be a pleasant surprise and winning two in a day?
Well, that feeling would be even greater. More so when the victors were ageing horses labelled over the hill.
Trainer Daniel Meagher savoured that big double surprise at Kranji last Friday night - with eight-year-old Red Claw paying $196 for a win and seven-year-old Lim's Samurai at even higher odds, $390.
Both winners certainly put his heart in his mouth. They both won by the barest of margins - a nose.
"Yes, it was a great thrill to win both, as they are raced by good friends and very loyal clients of mine," said Meagher, the son of former Kranji based and Melbourne Cup-winning trainer, John Meagher.
"They should not have been at those prices but, when you get short-priced favourites in the field, sometimes this happens."
It was Lim's Samurai's victory that gave the Australian trainer immense satisfaction.
Owned by Lim Siah Mong of Lim's Stable and assisted by racing manager Mick Dittman, Lim's Samurai has probably been regarded as a has-been on his long sequence of "outs".
He started promisingly though - with four wins and even finished a narrow second in the Group 1 Emirates Singapore Derby in 2017 when under his first trainer, nine-time Singapore champion Laurie Laxon.
Trainer Lee Freedman took over the horse for two runs for a second and a third in the Group 3 JBBA Rocket Man Sprint, before the Japanese-bred landed in Meagher's yard after being spelled in Malaysia.
Plagued by leg issues, the horse was unplaced in nine starts for Meagher, before the Lim's Samurai of old showed up again with that scintillating victory last Friday night in the $85,000 Class 2 race over 1,400m.
Jockey A'Isisuhari Kasim, who later won the $400,000 Group 2 Stewards' Cup on chance mount Siam Blue Vanda, brought Lim's Samurai up in the nick of time to beat the Freedman-trained Karisto by a nose.
"Lim's Samurai was amazing. We are so proud of the horse and my stable staff, assistant trainer Danny Beasley and our terrific farrier, Chris Matts," said Meagher.
"He needs icing, bandaging, swimming, among other things. So much tender loving care goes into him from the team, and to see Mr Lim and Mick Dittman so happy, it was extra special."
As for the Tan Cheong Soon-owned Red Claw, it was a gutsy performance to fend off the $14 second favourite Lim's Shot in the $30,000 Class 5 Div 1 event over the Polytrack 1,200m with 3kg-claiming apprentice jockey F. Yusoff astride.
It was the Australian-bred gelding's fifth success from 44 starts.
"Red Claw, we have trained him since he was a two-year-old in Brisbane. He was owned by a different person back then, but it's amazing he is still with us and running well," said Meagher.