Salute first, bow out later, Latest Racing News - The New Paper

Salute first, bow out later

Lim soldiers on, focuses on Super Salute’s contest in Sunday’s Group 3 Silver Bowl

Jason Lim is still numb with shock following the news racing will end in 2024.

But the Singaporean trainer is doing his best not to lose sight of the day-to-day stable job at hand.

None comes any bigger than getting banner horse Super Salute to his peak fitness ahead of his major assignment on Sunday.

The six-time winner will try and annex a seventh win in a row in the first leg of the Singapore Four-Year-Old Challenge, the $110,000 Group 3 Silver Bowl (1,400m).

“We’ve still got many battles off the track, but this is one battle we want to win this week,” said Lim.

“I’ve kept Super Salute ticking over since his last win. He’s had quite a lot of gallops.

“He also had a good trial last week. He’s in full fitness and is in very good condition.”

The son of I Am Invincible has not raced since his brilliant win in the Group 2 EW Barker Trophy (1,400m) on April 23.

The handicap conditions of that race had him well in on weights – he had only 54.5kg on his back.

But judges were still left impressed by the way he made light work of some top-notch gallopers, including main Silver Bowl rival Golden Monkey, after not having things his way early.

Lim himself thought Super Salute was in trouble when he was caught three wide off the speed. But the ease of the win – Lim’s first Group success in five years of training – told him he was cherry-ripe for his main 2023 mission.

“The way he won in open company in the EW Barker tells me that it’ll be less challenging to take on his own age group,” said Lim.

“Golden Monkey will be a danger again, not forgetting the up-and-coming Invincible Tycoon, who won very well at his last start.”

Champion jockey Manoel Nunes is also mindful of the 2023 cohort, but would rather back the four-year-old he knows better.

The Brazilian has, from Day 1, known Super Salute was more like “Super Brat”, but has schooled him like he was his own child.

“I got on him early, but after I hurt my neck, I couldn’t ride him at his first barrier trial,” said the four-time Singapore champion jockey.

“When I returned, I got back on and he was crazy. He wouldn’t go to the barriers, he would turn around.

“(Macau-based Malaysian trainer) Joe Lau has a share in him. I told Joe his horse was crazy and will need more time to come right.

“He had gears like pacifiers, etc. I told them to remove all, replace the snaffle bit with a ring bit.

“I’ve ridden him every morning since – slow work and fast work. He’s more mature and settled now.

“He walks to the track, and when I put my hands on his shoulders, he puts his head down and comes back under me.

“He actually jumped well at his last trial. They were all hanging around as they do in trials, but I didn’t bother about the others.

“I just let him stride along in front. He needed the blowout as he hasn’t raced for a while.”

A better draw (four) than in the EW Barker Trophy (eight) suggests more positive tactics for the former one-time Kembla Grange winner, when known as Construct.

But it may depend on EW Barker Trophy runner-up Golden Monkey’s early move. Last time, Tim Fitzsimmons’ champion flew the lids from marble one to dictate.

He has drawn three, still on Super Salute’s inside, but Nunes is suspecting a change of strategy.

“I think he’ll take a seat,” he said.

“Invincible Tycoon was also impressive at his last start, even if it was in Class 3. He’s a nice horse.”