Derby on radar after Glasgow explodes away to impressive win

WATCH Replay – Race 7

It may be early days, but Not A Single Doubt four-year-old Glasgow has stamped his Derby credentials with a pulsating come-from-behind win in the $70,000 Kranji Stakes C race over 1600m on Friday night.

Unsighted for most of the way, the former Victorian one-time Pakenham winner (1600m) must have had those who had plumped for his $27 odds looking skywards for a divine intervention when the 14-horse field swung off the corner.

As he was peeled to the outside for his run, he had about eight lengths to make up and that was provided he found daylight behind a phalanx of horses.

Glasgow (Noh Senari) flashes home late to take out the Kranji Stakes C race on Friday.

Upstream, race-leader Super Dynasty (John Powell) was struggling to hold the fort as Sun Marshal (Vlad Duric) and Gold City (Michael Rodd) descended onto him.

Gold City finished a shade better, but it would not matter much as he was about to be obliterated by a speeding bullet that had been sling shot from the 300m.

After finding acres of land on the outside, Glasgow, with Noh Senari riding hands and heels, was powering home at the rate of knots, almost as if his rivals had been tacked to the ground.

The Steven Burridge-trained galloper eventually went on to score a soft 1 ¾-length win from Gold City with Sun Marshal third another 1 ½ lengths away. Glasgow ($27) clocked the smart time of 1min 34.87secs for the 1600m on the Long Course.

Burridge said he had all but given hope at the point of the turn, but Glasgow’s turbo engine saved the night – and could have him dreaming bigger all of a sudden.

“After two furlongs, both my horses (he also had Lim’s Revent) were back at the rear and at the top of the straight, they were like 12 lengths behind,” said the Australian handler.

“I thought Lim’s Revent was running through quite well, but it was Glasgow who finished the best. He could go on to be a Derby horse.”

Considered as the pinnacle of four-year-old races, the Group 1 Singapore Derby (1800m) will be run on July 21 this year.

Burridge praised the contribution winning rider Noh Senari has brought to not just Glasgow’s win but to his yard’s success this season. Five of Burridge’s eight wins in 2019 were ridden by the former enfant terrible of Singapore racing, but who has turned the corner and is now letting his riding do all the talking.

“Noh is riding in great form and has been a big part of our success this year,” he said.

“Unfortunately, he is quite heavy, which can be a good thing at times as he doesn’t carry dead weight. I just hope our success together keeps going.”

The Singaporean jockey was at another riding double (his third for the year) which has propelled him to the top on 15 winners, one clear of Singapore two-time champion jockey Vlad Duric, who won one race aboard Red Riding Wood on Friday.

“I was given no instructions. Just let him run relaxed,” said Noh.

“At the 700 or 800m, I wanted to improve, but there was no room. Up the straight, I pushed him and didn’t have to use the whip at all.

“If I had not done enough, he might not have won, but it’s just my luck, he just flew in.”

When told that Burridge might be toying with the Derby with the horse known as Mujaadil in Australia when trained by disgraced trainer Darren Weir, Noh was, however, not about to leave the corner of a Grey Wonder who had won him over much earlier.

“I have no doubt Glasgow can run a mile, but I’m not sure about the Derby,” he said.

“I love the grey, anyway – Wonderful Paint.”

With all four wins from the Leslie Khoo-trained son of Darci Brahma under Noh’s guidance, it’s easy to understand the soft spot the Singaporean lad has for the grey flash, who also has a signature grandstand finish.

Glasgow has now taken his local record to two wins and two placings from five starts for prizemoney in excess of $80,000 for the MMW Stable.

Story by Michael Lee

Lim’s Pride comes back a winner after let-up

WATCH Replay – Race 4

A freshen-up did Lim’s Pride a power of good as evidenced from the way he rattled home for a thrilling last-gasp win in the $20,000 Open Maiden Division 2 race over 1400m on Friday night.

Trainer Steven Burridge tipped the Casino Prince four-year-old out after his first two starts – both on Polytrack – that produced mixed results. He ran an encouraging second to Paddington on debut in August, but went backwards second-up, beating one home three weeks later.

The 47-day break ensued, with Lim’s Pride returning an improved horse. Stalking up the speed in fifth place, the $12 favourite showcased his true ability with an electric turn of foot inside the last furlong to reel in the fighting pair of Sacred Tonic (Craig Grylls) and Mai Darko (Amirul Ismadi).

Lim’s Pride (Troy See) motors home to blouse Sacred Tonic (Craig Grylls, obscured) out.

Though it looked like he was lugging in under pressure, Lim’s Pride might have actually been homing in on Sacred Tonic, who had taken the measure of Mai Darko at the 150m.

With See pulling out all the stops, Lim’s Pride chased hard to eventually jag a head victory from Sacred Tonic with Mai Darko dropping out late to finish third another 1 ½ lengths away. The winning time was 1min 23.94secs for the 1400m on the Long Course.

“He had a nice freshen-up. He went good on debut on Polytrack and then got lost second-up,” said Burridge.

“The let-up has brought him on. He put on some weight and he toughed it out tonight.

“He wants more ground. He’s no world-beater but he’s a bread-and-butter Casino Prince.”

See, who has forged a successful partnership with the Lim’s Stable of late (four of his last five wins have come in the blue and yellow silks of the multiple champion owner), said easing Lim’s Pride back in maiden company was a huge factor.

“I rode him at his first run and he went good. Then he raced in Novice company, which was probably too strong for him,” said the current leading apprentice jockey.

“The plan tonight was to follow the leader (Mai Darko). In the straight, he gave a good kick, he’s a nice horse.”

Story by Michael Lee

Lim’s Revent scores easily first-up

WATCH Replay – Race 4

One week after riding his first winner for the Lim’s Stable, Troy See doubled up the dose for the champion outfit with another winner on Friday, Lim’s Revent.

This year’s leading apprentice jockey has been donning the popular blue and yellow stars jacket a lot more often of late, with Lim’s Force sealing the budding partnership with a first hurrah in a lowly Kranji Stakes D race over 1200m last Friday.

With See booked on a more high-profile Lim’s Stable ward later, it was clear that Mr Lim Siah Mong, racing manager Mick Dittman and trainer Steven Burridge were keen to throw more support behind the Singaporean lad. The plum ride is Group 2 Aushorse Golden Horseshoe winner Lim’s Lightning, who is making his much-awaited racing comeback later in the proceedings, in the $80,000 Class 3 Division 1 race over 1200m.

Lim’s Revent (Troy See) off to his first win at Kranji on Friday night.

While Lim’s Revent was only a warm-up to the main assignment, See showed he was worthy of the trust with a copybook ride aboard the well-backed galloper ($18), who just like Lim’s Lightning, was also resuming, in the $60,000 Class 4 Premier race over 1400m.

Never far away from the leading duo of Grand Knight (Ryan Curatolo) and Gold Crown (Michael Rodd), the Redoute’s Choice four-year-old was ridden patiently before let loose in the home straight.

Once See slipped some reins at the 400m, Lim’s Revent went on to assert his superiority in no uncertain terms, racing away to a two-length win from Verizon (Glen Boss) with Sun General (Daniel Moor) third another half-a-length away. The winning time was 1min 22.53secs for the 1400m on the Short Course.

Twice third at three previous Kranji starts, Lim’s Revent was opening his Singapore account, which Burridge was hoping would swell further now that that first win was out of the way. Known as Severence in Australia, he came to Singapore with a record of one win in a 1400m race at Kembla Grange in five starts for trainers Peter and Paul Snowden.

“There was a bit of give on the track at his first runs. He is a big gangly sort who needed more time to mature and that’s why I gave him a little bit of a break,” said the Australian conditioner.

“He’s actually a half-brother to Lim’s Bestow, who we thought had a lot of ability. Hopefully, this one can develop into a good horse with more maturity.

“Troy rode the horse very well and did a good job on Lim’s Force last week as well. Lim’s Force is actually a miracle story as she nearly died earlier this year.

“She got colicky and when the vets opened up her stomach, they found out she had been eating all sorts of junk, stones, twine and stuff. It’s amazing she survived and came and won a race!”

See, who will be representing Team Asia alongside Joao Moreira and Vlad Duric at the inaugural Premier Gateway International Jockeys Challenge on September 25, was with that latest win extending his lead in the apprentice jockeys’ log to five wins on defending champion Wong Chin Chuen with that 23rd success.

“It’s my first time riding this horse. I was given the speedmap of the race and everything went as planned,” said See.

“It makes my job so much easier when you work with smart people like Steven and Mick. Steven was the real mastermind behind this win, he deserves all the credit.”

Story by Michael Lee

Lim’s Lightning bolts up at comeback

WATCH Replay – Race 8

Aushorse Golden Horseshoe winner Lim’s Lightning picked up where he left off with a sensational comeback win on Friday night.

The promising son of Lope De Vega has not been seen since his brave head-win in the Group 2 two-year-old event over 1200m on July 13, but from the way he despatched his older rivals in the $80,000 Class 3 Division 1 race over 1200m, it was pretty obvious he was no juvenile flash in the pan.

Posted in a dream stalking spot outside race-leader Elise (Iskandar Rosman) from the get-go, Lim’s Lightning (Troy See), who was backed down to $12 favouritism, was always travelling like a winner, just appearing to be biding his time for the last 300m to let rip.


Troy See eases Lim’s Lightning down at the line in the Class 3 Division 1 race on Friday night.

When See let down the handbrakes at the 300m, Lim’s Lightning indeed took off instantly, opening up to a commanding break before longshot Moritz Eclipse (Marc Lerner) came with a cheeky late surge to trim down the margin to one length in second place, though it must be said See had already switched off the engine by then.

Galileo’s Approach (Matthew Kellady) also made some late ground to finish a creditable third another length away. The winning time was just 0.01 second shy of 1min 10secs for the 1200m on the Short Course.

Burridge, whose Lim’s Revert – also ridden by See – won earlier, was glad the horse currently considered as arguably the best horse in his stable, had returned a winner, given he was not exactly an easy horse to gauge at times.

“As he’s an athletic sort, we can’t work him a lot. We have to do a bit of guessing if he’s done enough or not,” said Burridge.

“He had one trial last week which was nice, but nothing exceptionally good. More importantly, he came back clean in the wind, he’s a real racehorse.

“He does tend to do a little too much at times, and we just have to let him do his own things.

“Tonight, he hit the line very well. He’s a very smart horse with plenty of upsides, and he should get 1400m and even 1600m later.

“I’ll probably give him one or two more runs, and then put him away, without doing too much with him. He’s clearly something special.”

See, who finished unplaced aboard Kranji galloper Maximus in Korea last Sunday, was delighted he had come back to such a good night at the office back on his home soil, even if he had to waste hard to make the weight on Lim’s Lightning. In the end, he rode him half-a-kilo over at 53kgs.

“It’s a good way to bounce back after Korea,” said the current leading Singapore apprentice jockey, who has now stretched his lead in the premiership to six winners on defending champion apprentice jockey Wong Chin Chuen (24 versus 18 winners), who is currently suspended.

“Steven Burridge did a fantastic job with this horse. I just had to follow his instructions, and the horse did the rest.

“He’s one of the smartest trainers around, and it’s always a pleasure to ride for him.

“The horse had everything going for him in the race. He had a rabbit to chase.

“He actually beat us (in second, aboard Galvarino) in the Aushorse Golden Horseshoe, but it was good to get him with me on top this time.”

Lim’s Lightning has now taken his handy record to three wins and one third place from four starts for prizemoney hitting around the $280,000 mark for the Lim’s Stable.

Story by Michael Lee

AK Lim fires up first Kranji win on Spirit Seven

WATCH Replay – Race 3

Former Kuala Lumpur apprentice jockey Lim Aun Kean finally rode his first winner in Singapore on Friday night.

That big first might not have come for his new master John O’Hara, but the 30-year-old Kedah-born rider was first and foremost happy he had broken the duck at his 17th Kranji ride.

It’s trainer Steven Burridge who supplied Lim with the winning ride – $150 outsider Spirit Seven in the $45,000 Class 4 Non Premier race over 1600m.

Malaysian apprentice jockey Lim Aun Kean opens his account in Singapore aboard Spirit Seven on Friday.

Another longshot, One Force (Iskandar Rosman), was fighting out the finish with O’Reilly Bay (Zy Nor Azman), but they were both left standing when Lim brought Spirit Seven with a well-timed run, sailing home on the outside for quite a soft win by 1 ¾ lengths from One Force.

Plato (Alysha Collett) plugged on along the rails to finish third another three parts of a length away. The winning time was 1min 35.62secs for the 1600m on the Short Course.

“I’ve always wanted to ride in Singapore and it’s great to finally ride my first winner here,” said Lim, who had 106 winners under the belt when he was indentured to trainer Wayne Lim Woei Chet up North.

“It’s been a bit of a wait, but I just had to be patient. I hope I will get more support from other trainers from now on.

“It doesn’t matter if that first win didn’t come for Mr O’Hara. I’m sure I will ride a winner for him soon.

“I actually rode that horse at his last start. He ran on very well then.

“Credit to the trainer who has kept him fit after that run. The horse has actually improved.

“We had a good run from the start. He doesn’t have a lot of speed, but we were able to secure the rails, and we improved to be midfield.

“Turning for home, I took him to the outside. When we got the gap, he just flew home for a very nice win.”

Lim, who has already been nicknamed AK47 by the local media, actually knew the Hala Bek five-year-old fairly well as he rode him at his last start (Class 4 Non Premier over 1400m) last Friday. The pair turned in an eye-catching fourth.

Though Spirit Seven was the first standby starter this time, Burridge booked Lim again – an inspiring move from the Malaysian’s perspective no doubt, after Roman Classic was withdrawn.

“He won a nice race two starts back, which was on Polytrack, but he also ran well on turf before,” said Burridge.

“He’s come right now. He had some feet issues that we have sorted.

“We can train him more properly now and he won a solid race tonight. AK rode him well at his last start and that’s why I kept him on. Good for him to get his first winner.”

With that fourth win, Spirit Seven has now taken his stakes earnings past the $110,000 mark for his owner Chionh Teck Swee.

Story by Michael Lee

Lim’s Lightning sparks fighting win in Aushorse Golden Horseshoe

WATCH Replay – Race 6

The victory was harder to engineer than expected but favourite Lim’s Lightning still got the job done in the $325,000 Group 2 Aushorse Golden Horseshoe (1200m) on Friday night.

Unlike his emphatic four-length win in the third Leg of the Singapore Golden Horseshoe series, the IRT Juvenile Stakes (1200m) on June 15, Lim’s Lightning ($12) had to flex every sinew of his athletic 508-kilo frame to overpower a very tenacious foe in surprise packet Galvarino.

Again ridden by his last-start winning partner Ryan Curatolo, Lim’s Lightning actually enjoyed an energy-saving soft run in transit after jumping from barrier No 2, settling cosily in the box-seat behind the pacy Lim’s Dream (John Powell) with Galvarino (Troy See) for company on his outside.

Lim's Lightning

Lim’s Lightning (Ryan Curatolo) reels in outsider Galvarino (Troy See) to claim the Aushorse Golden

Behind, the rest of the capacity 16-horse field was fairly strung out with many of the top picks who had drawn the cheap seats looking hard-pushed to make up the deficit, notably the unbeaten Pennywise (Nooresh Juglall), who was further compounded by a tardy getaway, Siam Vipasiri (Daniel Moor) and Toosbies (Michael Rodd).

As the leading bunch swung for home, Lim’s Dream quickly capitulated, but it was Galvarino ($151) who drew first blood as he strode to the front with the cheek of a juvenile who had thus far exhibited more prowess (of the untutored kind) at the barriers than down the home straight, though he did run a decent fourth at his only start in that same third Leg won by Lim’s Lightning.

That day, the son of Stryker was left standing more than four lengths astern when Lim’s Lightning bolted, but the roles were switched in the grand final as he turned into the one to chase down, absolutely looking the part as he kept knuckling down to the task with 200m to go.

But class prevails in adversity. Taunted and caught a little on the backfoot, Lim’s Lightning did not take it lying down.

Responding to Curatolo’s urgings, the son of Lope De Vega rose to the challenge as he snuck up on the inside of Galvarino, gnawing his way back with every stride towards a most regal showdown inside the last 100 metres.

Two youngsters, raw in all their glory, but fighting tooth-and-nail as much as their unbridled talent can afford them, with the nod eventually going to the punters’ elect by a short head. Conquered he may have been at the last hop, but the gallant Galvarino had also conquered many new admirers.

Still, the run of the race had to be from My Big Boss (Vlad Duric) who no doubt vaulted his way into the blackbookers with a scorching late dash on the outside to secure a laudable third place another one-and-three-quarter lengths away. The winning time was 1min 10.07secs for the 1200m on the Short Course.

Winning trainer Steven Burridge, who was snaring his third Aushorse Golden Horseshoe win after Pitstop (2012) and Lim’s Racer (2016), praised the people behind the scenes in his victory speech, particularly former jockey Richard Lim for helping the previously wayward juvenile turn the corner.

“The horse hasn’t run in one month. We had to nurse him back to fitness,” said the Australian conditioner.

“Big thanks to my staff, my wife Julie of course, and also, Richard Lim who has done a good job on him. He was quite a handful earlier and Richard has spent a lot of time educating him properly.”

Prize presentation

Winning connections all smiles after Lim Lightning’s triumph: (from left) jockey Ryan Curatolo, trainer
Steven Burridge, racing manager Mick Dittman and owner Mr Lim Siah Mong.

The other main beneficiary of all the backroom boys’ hard work was of course Curatolo, the former Macau-based French jockey who was claiming his first Group success in Singapore.

“I’m really delighted with that first Group win in Singapore,” said the US-trained hoop who was also ringing up a hat-trick of wins, having earlier saluted aboard Smooth Operator and Turquoise King.

“He’s a very good racehorse with a great pedigree and he proved it again today. The last 200m was not as strong as at his last win, but that was because he was not so comfortable on the inside as he is on the outside.

“I’ve said all week it wasn’t an easy race, but he proved he was something special with the way he fought all the way to the line.

“I’d like to thank Steven Burridge and (racing manager) Mick Dittman and all the staff. It was a great team effort.

“Things are going well for me here, and I’ve got so much to look forward to. I just have to keep on going stronger.”

Dittman said the stable was very proud of their second Aushorse Golden Horseshoe winner after Lim’s Racer, but also paid compliments to a trainer he has now worked closely with since the champion owner’s 2015 Kranji comeback after a hiatus.

“He showed some ticker out there tonight that horse. The second horse gave a good kick, but he fought back in the last 50 yards,” said the former Sydney champion jockey known as The Enforcer.

“We’re very proud of him considering he’s had only three starts. He’s got a good future.

“It’s not been easy for Steve to keep that horse up in the last three to four weeks, but he’s victorious and we’re very happy.

“Mr Lim (Siah Mong) puts a lot of money in races and loves his races. Those big races are so important to him.

“It’s great to get to the big races and have the right horse to get it right.”

Buying on behalf of the Lim’s Stable, Dittman did not actually have to break the bank for Lim’s Lightning. He cost only $50,000 at the 2017 Magic Millions Horses in Training Sale, which incidentally makes him eligible for the $70,000 bonus on top of the lion’s share of the $325,000 purse up for grabs – roughly around $165,000.

Adding on to the $56,000 already in the bank following his second-up win in the IRT Juvenile Stakes and a debut third in a Novice race, Lim’s Lightning has amassed close to $290,000 in earnings, more than recouping his purchase price tag in only three runs.

And last but not least, Lim’s Lightning also won the “Best Groomed” horse award, sending his happy strapper home $500 richer.

Story by Michael Lee

Autumn Rush springs another win for Kok

WATCH Replay – Race 7

Promising apprentice jockey Simon Kok Wei Hoong made it three wins with his pet horse Autumn Rush on Friday night.

The Keano five-year-old memorably gave the young Ipoh-born rider his first career win on January 23 and that latest success in the $100,000 Kranji Stakes B race over 1000m has brought up their overall combination tally to three wins and one third from eight associations.

The former Malaysian equestrian rider called Autumn Rush, who is trained by his master Steven Burridge, his “special horse” as he weighed back in to his seventh win all-up.

Autumn Rush races past his rivals under the urgings of apprentice jockey Simon Kok Wei Hoong to land the Kranji Stakes B race on Friday.

“He’s a very special horse to me as he gave me my first win,” said a beaming Kok.

“At his second win, he flew home for me and tonight, he gave me a beautiful ride throughout.

“The boss told me to go forward but there were a couple of horses who were quicker. So I took a sit instead.

“When I peeled him out for his run, he fought very hard to catch Benny’s (Woodworth) horse (Pioneer Seven).

“I’d like to thank the connections for putting me on this horse.”

Burridge for one has stuck solid with the young man as far as finding a pilot for Autumn Rush goes – even when things did not quite pan out the way they wanted.

“He’s a very honest horse and Simon rode him well tonight,” said the Australian handler as he was wildly cheered on by an ecstatic group of connections and friends.

“I tried to take them up in class with no weight, but he was drawn awkwardly. He drew well this time (two), sometimes it makes a difference, sometimes it doesn’t, but he had the gun run tonight.”

For a fleeting moment, Pioneer Seven gave the impression he would cause another one of those boilovers he is known for when he is left alone upfront, but Kok had other ideas as he waited for the home straight to launch his “special horse”.

Pioneer Seven ($102) put up a spirited fight, but Autumn Rush ($29), in hot pursuit, wore him down with every stride to eventually gain the advantage by 1 ¼ lengths with Marine Treasure (Zy Nor Azman) sharing third place with the fast-finishing favourite Elite Power (Vlad Duric) another head away. The winning time was 58.97 seconds for the 1000m on the Polytrack.

Already a stakes winner of close to $200,000 before Friday’s race, Autumn Rush has now boosted that amount by another 25% with that fifth win. Australian jockey Glen Boss was twice his winning partner before Kok took over.

Story by Michael Lee

Lightning return to the top for Curatolo in IRT Juvenile Stakes

WATCH Replay – Race 4

French jockey Ryan Curatolo was a man in a hurry after he drove Lim’s Lightning first across the line to take out the $90,000 IRT Juvenile Stakes Open 2YO race over 1200m on Friday.

The 26-year-old rider fractured his right ankle on May 4 after a fall from the Mark Walker-trained Lim’s Rhythm (incidentally his one and only ride this Sunday in a Restricted Maiden race over 1600m) on the way to the barriers, and was told he would need six weeks to recover.

But thanks to the “miracle hands” of a Chinese therapist and regular fitness workouts, Curatolo, who rode in US and Macau previously, made his racing comeback one week earlier on Friday with a healthy book of five rides.

Lim’s Lightning (Ryan Curatolo) scores going away in the IRT Juvenile Stakes on Friday.

After two unplaced rides aboard Swift Embrace and Sacred Galaxy, Curatolo was right on target on Lim’s Lightning in the third Leg of the Singapore Golden Horseshoe series.

“I was out for five weeks, and I was working with a Chinese therapist who was amazing. I am very thankful to him,” said Curatolo, who is at his 23rd win of the season.

“I had been eating well, but I had to start to diet as I got a little heavier, but now my fitness is pretty good.

“I’m very pleased to get the opportunity (from owner Mr Lim Siah Mong of Lim’s Stable), and I thank everyone who has been supporting me.”

On the two-year-old son of Lope De Vega who last ran third on debut in a Novice race over 1200m with Daniel Moor aboard, Curatolo noted his greenness, but was glad with the way the gelding raced away to score.

“I watched the replay and studied the race. He did not have the best trip,” said Curatolo.

“Today, he broke from barrier 13, put himself in a good position. I just sat there and relaxed.

“He was very comfortable, and when I pushed the button, he just raced away.

“He’s still a bit green, but he will improve further from this race.”

The Australian gelding was seen bustled up by Curatolo at the start to sit in a one-out-one-back position behind Makkem Lad (Alysha Collett) and Salamence (Benny Woodworth), who were both vying for the lead in front.
While Lim’s Lightning was trapped behind a wall of horses on the inside round the home turn at his first run, the $23 second-favourite was peeled out to the outside to make his move this time, before drawing clear for a four-length victory from Makkem Lad.

$19  favourite My Big Boss (Daniel Moor) made up ground late to finish third another half-a-length away. The winning time on the Short Course over 1200m was 1min 10secs.

Winning trainer Steven Burridge was only hoping for luck when the Lim’s Stable-owned gelding drew barrier 13, but thought his previous run in a Novice race had benefitted him.

“Mick Dittman (Lim’s Stable’s racing manager) and myself spoke about it, and we thought he had a bit of ability, so we ran him in a Novice race first-up,” said the Australian handler.

“It’s always good to educate these young horses, and he probably ran a little better than we thought.

“With the wet track and all, we knew the experience would do him a whole lot of good.

“But when the barrier 13 came up, you just have to hope for luck. The horse was still quite green, but Ryan rode him very well.

“If he pulls up well, we will definitely look at the next two Legs of the series.”

The fourth Leg of the Singapore Golden Horseshoe series is the $90,000 Inglis Ready2Race Stakes over 1200m which will be held on July 1, and the fifth and final Leg of the Singapore Golden Horseshoe series, the $325,000 Group 2 Aushorse Golden Horseshoe (1200m) will take place on July 13.

With that first win, Lim’s Lightning has earned around $64,000 for connections, inclusive of a $10,000 bonus for being an Australian-sired horse bought through the Magic Millions Gold Coast Ready to Run Sale for A$50,000.

Story by Sharon Zhang

Absolvido overcomes rawness to score second-up

WATCH Replay – Race 4

Top pick Absolvido gave connections and backers some heart flutters in the straight but his raw ability saved the day in the end.

After stumbling out of the gates in the $20,000 Open Maiden race over 1400m, the $18 favourite was dropped to the rear by jockey Glen Boss, whipping the 12-horse field in for most of the way.

The Rip Van Winkle four-year-old did start to improve noticeably from the 500m, but another furlong later, was mired in a big spot of bother.

Absolvido (Glen Boss) charges home to get the money at his second outing.

Absolvido (Glen Boss) charges home to get the money at his second outing.

Not only was Absolvido caught behind a wall of horses, but his greenness and inclination to throw his head around compounded matters further.

Sun Elizabeth (Mohd Zaki) looked all poised to give trainer Hideyuki Takaoka a race-to-race double after $16 favourite Across The Sea earlier won the $45,000 Class 4 Non Premier race over 1100m in the Stewards’ room, but Absolvido had in the meantime finally found a crack in the wall – and certainly looked more tractable.

Without resorting to the whip, Boss pushed the Steven Burridge-trained chestnut right through, steering him to a resounding 1 ¾ length-win from Sun Elizabeth. Ball And Chain (Olivier Placais) stormed home late at massive odds ($264) to take third place another length away.

The winning time was 1min 23.83secs for the 1400m on the Long Course.

“He checked at the start, he clipped heels and I dropped him right back. He was still very green throughout,” said Boss.

“He was like a deer caught in the headlights. He had no idea what was happening, especially in the straight.

“But once he got clear, he was very good.”

Burridge said the yard held a high opinion of the Premier Racing Stable-owned latest recruit, but knew they had to give him a bit of time to mature further.

“This horse showed ability from the start but he was also a slow-maturing sort,” said the Australian trainer.

“His first run was good (closing fifth to Eddie Gray in an Open Maiden race over 1200m on May 6). There was not much point riding him differently as he’s the type of horse who gets back and sprints home late.

“We just had to ride him for luck and it’s paid off. He’ll run a mile easy – and it’s good for Wade (son and head of Premier Racing Stable) to have another winner.”

Absolvido (previously named Rip ‘N’ Run) caught the eye of the Premier Racing boss at a barrier trial in Perth.

“He’s a well-trained individual but still very green, but as you could see from tonight’s win, he’s got lengths on this lot,” said Wade Burridge.

“I didn’t know about him until he trialled at Belmont in Perth. I thought he was a nice horse, and he will probably make the grade here.”

Story by Michael Lee

Nimitz still at sea, but back all guns blazing

Trainer Steven Burridge couldn’t conceal his delight after the talented but temperamental Nimitz returned to winning ways for new owners on Friday night.

WATCH Replay – Race 4

Last September’s debut winner gave every indication he would be a handy customer to the Australian handler after he went all the way in an Open Maiden race over 1200m, but the rot set in soon afterwards.

The Ready’s Image four-year-old turned into a barrier rogue. At his second run last October, he was sent off the $19 favourite but his pre-race antics behind the gates saw a warning being placed on him.

Burridge sent the naughty gelding back to school, but it would seem he did not quite mend his ways at the five barrier trials he was put through.

Nimitz (Craig Grylls) fends off Wecando (Glen Boss) to claim Race 4.

If he was to show any bellicosity that matched the might of its famous namesake, the US warship, connections would have preferred it was played out in the running – not before.

Unfortunately, Nimitz continued to wreak havoc at the pens, even leaving Burridge’s apprentice jockey Simon Kok Wei Hoong behind at the gates at one barrier trial on March 22.

But through sheer perseverance, Burridge eventually won the battle. Nimitz ran sixth at his comeback race three weeks ago, but he was better-behaved, and Friday’s all-the-way win in the $60,000 Class 4 Premier race over 1400m was a nice reward to his minders’ patience.

Ridden by Craig Grylls, Nimitz ($35) was scrubbed up early to take up the running from favourite Eastiger (Vlad Duric) with the other well-backed Wecando (Glen Boss) humming along in the box-seat.

The order didn’t change much with the real acid test kicking in inside the last two furlongs. Eastiger had the first crack, but Nimitz was holding the fort well. Wecando took over with 100m to go, and looked a lot more threatening than Eastiger, who had by then given up the fight.

Still, Nimitz would not buckle as he dug deep to repel that second wave of attack to boldly prevail by a head from Wecando with Little Big Man (Nooresh Juglall) running on late for third place another half-length away. The winning time was 1min 22.97secs for the 1400m on the Long Course.

Burridge was a picture of both joy and relief at the winner’s circle, with his son Wade of Premier Racing and new partners of the gelding, the MM Stable, by his side.

“He’s done everything wrong, but tonight he’s done everything right. It’s a great result for his new owners and Wade,” said Burridge.

“He’s been rearing up at the gates, throwing the rider down the back at the trials, but we knew he’s always had ability. He’s just very green.

“He won first-up and beat Lim’s Magic then. He’s had one run for the new owners, but that’s their first win with this horse.”

Grylls said Nimitz was still rough around the edges, but he was on the right path to total redemption.

“He’s still very green. He was hanging out badly the whole straight,” said the Kiwi jockey.

“If he could run straight, he would have won more easily. They were coming hard at him, but I gave him a few cracks behind and he kept on.”

With that second win, Nimitz has now taken his stakes earnings close to the $55,000 mark for the MM & Premier Racing Stable.

Story by Michael Lee