Team Meagher-Lerner riding on crest of a wave, Latest Racing News - The New Paper

Team Meagher-Lerner riding on crest of a wave

Dynamic duo snag three wins on March 30, including a dead-heat with Falcon’s January

The in-form Daniel Meagher-Marc Lerner association had another field day at the office on March 30, knocking in a treble – including a dead-heat.

The Australian-French duo began their rout with hot favourite Lim’s Saltoro ($6) before $34 outsider January shared the spoils with Alwin Tan’s Aniki ($15) three races later.

If a joint-win may rob some of the gloss, it was certainly restored with a flourish in the last race when a gutsy Always Together ($15) held off all comers with a neck-win.

Typical of what has become their signature post-race ethos, both men put down their successful day to teamwork.

While Lim’s Saltoro stretching his unbeaten run to five in the $50,000 Class 4 (1,400m) was greeted with legitimate joy, January’s return to the winner’s circle after 211 days in the $70,000 Class 3 (1,400m) was very special.

“It’s all about teamwork. It’s so satisfying to win with January as he’s had many issues,” said Lerner.

“We’ve spent a lot of time with him as we knew he had ability.”

Meagher echoed those sentiments, more so as it is never easy to take an injury-plagued stable transfer back to the top.

The Falcon Racing Stable-owned galloper had raced only twice for Meagher since joining from Donna Logan last October.

The son of Swiss Ace reached his pinnacle in the 2023 Group 3 Singapore Three-Year-Old Sprint (1,200m), but fell by the wayside in the remaining two legs of the Singapore Three-Year-Old Challenge.

He did bounce back with one more win – and a fourth for Logan – before his Thai owners went for the sea change.

“It’s good to see him back where he should be, at the winner’s enclosure,” said Meagher.

“He came to us with issues. He was lame after his first race.

“At his second start, we got him right. The owners told me to take my time as he’s a decent horse.

“I thought he needed blinkers to settle. We put blinkers and earmuffs and he settled really well, he then ran fantastic last start, even though he was three deep.

“He trialled super last week, I was confident he’ll put in a really good run today. Marc does all the work on him.

“I’d like to get him up to 1,600m. Then he’ll go for the 4YO races.”

The first Group feature for four-year-olds is the Group 3 Silver Bowl (1,400m) on June 9.

Lerner said it was their co-winner Aniki who gave them a nice cart into the race when he led for Koh Teck Huat.

“Today he had a super run. The other horse (Aniki) took us into the race,” he said.

“Last time, he was wide but he still ran super. He boxed on well.”

Tan was also delighted Aniki has bounced back from two thirds.

“Last time, he was under pressure, but today, the slower pace suited him,” he said.

“He’s the best horse in my stable. We’ll run him in the 4YO races.”

Not only will the son of Outreach be bumping into January again, but Lim’s Saltoro as well.

Lerner had to earn his riding fee to keep the winning streak going, though. The Shamexpress four-year-old has not kicked his habit of stopping in the home straight.

“It was a typical Lim’s Saltoro run. For his first time over 1,400m, we wanted to teach him to settle for the future,” he said.

“When he came up to the other horse, I thought he would shoot past in two strides. But, again, he thought he had the job done.

“There are better races for him. He’ll go for the 4YO series.”

Meagher was very proud of Lim’s Saltoro, even if he is aware that quirk of “waiting” can prove costly at a higher level.

“He still has this habit of waiting when he hits the front. We need to address that,” he said.

“He’s still learning, and today, he carried 59kg. Five starts, five wins, it’s not easy.

“Before the 4YO races, he’ll run in the (Group 2) EW Barker Trophy (1,400m on April 21) where he’ll carry 50kg. Bruno Queiroz will ride him.

“We’ve got to test that market.”

Shalaa four-year-old Always Together may not have as much upside, but Meagher still marvelled at his sheer will to win in the $50,000 Class 4 race (1,200m).

“He’s a genuine horse. The way he put his head down made all the difference,” he said.