Lim’s Sparkle enjoys change of luck in Stewards’ room


When trainer Steven Burridge said at the post-race interview how unlucky Lim’s Sparkle had been at his recent runs and deserved to finally land his first win on Friday night, he must have thought he had spoken too soon when the “objection” sign flashed.

But to his great relief 10 minutes later, luck was finally on the side of the Stryker three-year-old after Stewards dismissed Captain Jamie’s jockey Nooresh Juglall’s objection for interference in the last 200m of the $75,000 Restricted Maiden race over 1400m.

The head-on camera showed the two joint $12 favourites settle down for a good go inside the last furlong with Lim’s Sparkle drifting out ever so slightly under apprentice jockey Zawari Razali’s urgings as he tried to hang on to the lead he had established from the start, but it is quite clear he hardly took the rightful running of Captain Jamie.

Lim’s Sparkle (Zawari Razali) hangs on for dear life as Captain Jamie (Nooresh Juglall) and
Auspicious Day (Zuriman Zulkifli, obscured) come wearing him down.

Burridge must have thought some kind of hex had befallen the Lim’s Stable-owned gelding as three starts back, he was not so fortunate in the Stewards’ room for a similar protest hearing.

On that occasion, he was again first past the post with A’Isisuhairi Kasim up, but was demoted after Stewards concurred with jockey John Powell’s arguments that his horse Winterfell would have won if he had not been interfered with by Lim’s Sparkle.

Lim’s Sparkle scored by a short head from Captain Jamie with Auspicious Day (Zuriman Zulkifli) third another neck away. The winning time was 1min 23.2secs for the 1400m on the Long Course.

“He’s been very unlucky at his recent starts. Zawari rode him well, but he just could not come out at the right time,” said the Australian trainer.

“We thought tonight we would take a sit behind Mark Walker’s horse (Alrina), but he showed more gate speed than I suspected.

“They were able to dictate terms, and Zawari rated him well in front, and even though Juglall objected, I was not too worried. My horse never made contact with his.”

Zawari, who was bringing up his 18th win of the year, to cut back the margin on last year’s champion apprentice jockey Wong Chin Chuen to two winners, said he was surprised when the objection sign came up.

“I was surprised there was an objection against my horse. When you look at the replay, there is no interference,” said Walker’s apprentice jockey.

One last Casino roll before hitting the road


Missing the boat is normally not a good thing, but for Lim’s Casino, it meant hitting the jackpot all right.

The Casino Prince four-year-old was all booked to take the northbound-float to Malaysia last week, but for some reason, he could not get a spot.

Trainer Steven Burridge had to bring him back to his Kranji box, and next thing he knew, he was leading him to the winner’s box!

Lim’s Casino (Vlad Duric) scores going away in Race 3.

Making the most of an unscheduled situation, the Australian handler decided he might as well keep the previous four-time winner on his racing tucker, and spotted Sunday’s $60,000 Hello Moscow Stakes, a Class 4 Division 2 race over 1400m, as the ideal race to keep him earning his oats instead of loafing around in the transit lounge.

He was well inspired. Lim’s Casino romped home by just under three lengths, sending a resounding message connections might have erred in their decision to send him to “greener grass” across the Causeway.

But Burridge was still not sure if the all-the-way victory had saved the Lim’s Stable-owned galloper his box at Kranji.

“He should have gone to Malaysia last week, but he missed the boat!” said the Australian handler.

“I ran him today since he was still around, and he won a very good race. He’s always been an honest horse.

“Whether he stays or goes after today, I’m not really sure. It’s good to get a win out of him here for the owners anyway, especially today on Derby day.”

Duric, who can’t do no wrong these days, was adding a third win for the weekend after a riding double on Friday courtesy of Distinctive Darci and Macarthur, to stretch his lead on the jockey’s log to 14 wins (51 versus Alan Munro’s 37).

Unlike Lim’s Casino, Duric has a better idea where he is laying his hat for a while.

“He’s (Lim’s Casino) an easy horse to ride. He sprang the gates quickly and at the 600m, I knew I had the race in my keeping,” said the Victorian jockey.

“Coming back to the 1400m probably helped as well. I think the mile is a touch too far for him.

“I was just hoping he would keep running all the way – and he did.”

Lim’s Casino ($16) won by two and a half lengths from Gold Crown (Michael Rodd) with Keepitup (Manoel Nunes) third another half-a-length away. The winning time was 1min 22.64secs for the 1400m trip on the Short Course.

With that fifth win from 26 starts, Lim’s Casino has now taken his winnings past the $190,000 mark for the Lim’s Stable. It remains to be seen now if the next currency he banks in from now on is ringgit.