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Rain or shine, Tycoon is a boon

Burridge and Lim’s Stable throw Invincible Tycoon at deep end in Group 3 Silver Bowl

Steven Burridge may not hold the ace in the pack any more, but is glad he will not be without a runner in the 2023 Singapore Four-Year-Old Challenge.

Long touted as the front runner to the 4YO series, his Street Of Dreams was suddenly out of the race after sustaining a high suspensory tear in the Kranji Mile at his last start on May 20.

Half an hour after Street Of Dreams’ disappointing ninth place in the marquee $1 million race, his Australian trainer got some consolation in the last race – and even an idea for a stand-in.

Stepped up in grade to Class 3 level, Invincible Tycoon came off an ideal stalking position throughout the 1,400m before powering away to an impressive win for regular partner Marc Lerner.

Up until then, Burridge and the Lim’s Stable had not really toyed with the idea of a tilt at the 4YO series for the son of I Am Invincible.

With their mainstay out, one door closes and another just opens. Invincible Tycoon contests the first leg of the series, the $110,000 Group 3 Silver Bowl (1,400m) on Sunday. 

It remains to be seen if that door will lead to a second straight feature success for Burridge, after Mr Malek captured the Group 3 Kranji Sprint (1,200m) last Saturday.

But Burridge is just happy to make hay while the sun shines with another tilt at Group glory, especially given his training days are now numbered following the shock announcement that racing would disappear in 2024 before Kranji is handed back to the government in 2027.

“He won quite convincingly at his last start, which was three weeks off the Silver Bowl. I, for one, would not have thought of it, but it worked out all right,” he said of Invincible Tycoon, already a three-time Kranji winner in six starts.

“Super Salute is obviously the horse to beat. My horse is probably not as good, but he is fit and well.

“Marc comes and gallops him when he can. The horse galloped on Tuesday and last Friday and I couldn’t be happier with him.

“Happy with the way he’s going. He’s peaking at the right time.”

Timing and shrewd talent-scouting were also behind Invincible Tycoon’s export to Singapore, and eventually donning the famous blue-and-yellow stars silks of the Lim’s Stable.

“(Son) Wade was the one who saw his runs when he was with Chris Waller. He ran second and third on wet tracks, but he just kept getting wet tracks in Sydney,” said the Australian trainer.

“Wade bought him off Waller. The idea was that if we brought him here, he may improve by lengths on drier tracks.

“First-up after a break, he won by four lengths on a wet track at Port Macquarie. But he actually never really handled wet tracks.

“Still, he ran third on another heavy track in Port Macquarie before he came over here.

“He was here for around three months when Mick Dittman (Lim’s racing manager) asked me if I had anything worth buying.

“I showed him Invincible Tycoon and he liked the horse. I sold him just before his first race.”

Lim’s Stable, which races the bulk of its string of horses with trainer Daniel Meagher, usually sources its own horses from Australia or New Zealand via Dittman.

Thanks to the former top jockey’s good eye for a horse – but locally, this time – they may have another fair crack at the Singapore Derby, which they won with Lim’s Prestige in 2007 and Lim’s Kosciuszko in 2022.

First, Burridge will have to take it race by race before he ascertains if the 1,800m trip of the third leg of the 4YO Challenge is within Invincible Tycoon’s compass.

It actually took him a few races to suss the gelding out.

Ironically, the idea that he was better suited on top of the ground did not quite “hold water” when he got off the mark in Singapore.

“He was ridden upside down and he overraced at his first start,” said Burridge.

“Then he won at his second start on rain-affected track. I guess he can handle it but we still believe he is better on top of the ground.”

The last two of his three Kranji wins were indeed recorded on good going.

While Burridge may prefer blue skies on Sunday, any dark clouds hovering around would not be frowned upon too much either.