Double dead-heat for Derreck David

Three races have ended at Kranji and five winners have saluted the judge.

Sorry, trivia buffs, we did not record out first triple dead-heat at Kranji, but it was still a rare phenomenon not seen in the annals of Singapore racing for a long time – back-to-back dead-heats.

Shortly after Lim’s Pershing and Little Master could not be split in Race 2 (see previous report), another dead-heat was in the works in the very next race, the $80,000 War Affair 2014 Stakes, an Open Benchmark 74 race over 1800m, when Mighty Kenny and Makanani finished locked together with the judge again semaphoring the “DH” sign on the electronic board.

The other singular fact which would have record hunters digging deep into their records was Derreck David being the winning jockey in both races. The South African rider was aboard Lim’s Pershing and Makanani. He later sealed a hat-trick of wins when he scored aboard Flash One in the $38,000 Always Certain 2011 Stakes, a Kranji Stakes D Division 1 race over 1200m.

Mighty Kenny (Nooresh Juglall, black cap) and Makanani (Derreck David, yellow blinkers) wear down
Show Far Show Good (Vlad Duric, on the rails) to dead-heat for first in Race 3.

The Japanese-bred and Hideyuki Takaoka-trained Makanani ($23) was whacking away with every stride as she tried to peg back leader Show Far Show Good (Vlad Duric), and just when she had it covered a few hops away from the line, the Ricardo Le Grange-trained Mighty Kenny (Nooresh Juglall, $46) swooped down late on the outside to halve the joy at the eleventh hour.

In a close go, Show Far Show Good on the inside just missed out by a short head to make it a historic triple dead-heat. The winning time was 1min 47.94secs for the 1800m on the Long Course.

“I’m not sure if it’s a record but it is certainly one for me,” said David about his rare feat.

“I’m so grateful to Mr Takaoka who has been my sole supporter for a long time. This filly is very talented even if she has lost her way in recent months.

“But she’s only a three-year-old and she can keep improving. I was happy to settle her outside the leader as she drops the bit when she comes back in and she then loses the plot.

“She dug down deep and it was a great result to get two dead-heats. Thanks to the Singapore Turf Club for the opportunity and for putting on a magnificent show today.

“I’m grateful to ride here, and more so on a Group 1 (Raffles Cup) raceday.”

His colleague and fellow South African Jockey Academy graduate Nooresh Juglall was equally delighted with the happy outcome even if he had to take turns to pose for the camera at the winner’s area.

“I had a great spot on the rails at the rear even if the two horses in front were not coming back. Once he saw daylight, he lengthened up really well,” said the in-form Juglall.

“It was a great effort as he was giving them weight. The 1800m on the Long Course is also not ideal for him as he’s more of a miler

“A big thanks to Mark and Emily Yong for the opportunity.”

Le Grange remembered the Mighty Kenny’s bloodines with a touch of emotion as he led in his 54th winner (no half-winner for a dead-heat recorded on the ladder in Singapore) for the season.

“He is a half-brother to Super Kenny, who was an out-and-out sprinter who, we know got galloped on and had throat surgery. He could have been anything without that,” said the South African conditioner.

“This one goes over more ground and can take both Polytrack and grass. It’s great to have Pat Shaw in town as well as Mark and Emily.

“I’m very grateful to my staff who do a lot of work behind the scenes.”

Black Swan sails away to easy win

Sebring five-year-old Black Swan was the popular pick in the $60,000 Class 4 race over 1800m on Friday, but there weren’t many who would have thought he would rout his rivals with so much ease.

After racing quite handy behind the leader Golden Thunder (Ng Choon Kiat), but three wide, an early move to hit the lead under Michael Rodd had most thinking he would come unstuck halfway through.

But the $16 favourite clearly had not spent a penny in transit, as he pinged again for a sizzling turn of speed hitherto unseen at his previous 29 starts.

Black Swan (Michael Rodd) makes winning look easy in Race 3.

By the 150m mark, they were so far ahead that Rodd could sit and pose for the camera as they went on to score by a widening margin of just under six lengths from Big Banker (Olivier Placais) with Danger Zone (Derreck David) third another nose away. The winning time was 1min 51.07secs for the 1800m on Polytrack.

Winning trainer Steven Burridge looked like he was pinching himself after he just watched his horse thump his rivals so emphatically.

“He’s had so many seconds and thirds, and it’s been so disappointing,” said the Australian.

“But with Michael Rodd tonight, he hit the line really well. He’s never won on Polytrack before and I didn’t expect him to win by that margin.

“I must have been off the ball!”

Rodd was at his second win on the Masa Otani-owned galloper, with the first one coming in inferior company (Class 5) over 2000m four months ago.

“I won on him over 2000m before, but he’s had a lot of outs since,” said the Australian jockey.

“He had no luck at his very next start. He is an on-pace runner and he showed a lot of zip and confidence tonight.

“I probably went a bit early but the race was soon over.”

With that third win from 30 starts, Black Swan has now taken his stakes earnings past the $170,000 mark for the Big Valley Stable.

Tough Justice holds court for second time

A carbon-copy of Lucky Justice’s last-start winning tactics went a long way in seeing the strapping galloper hit paydirt again on Friday night.

Five weeks ago, the towering son of Purrealist sat three wide for Glen Boss for the best part of a 1600m race for Class 4 Division 2 gallopers before slogging it out inside the last 300m to gain a head win from the fast-finishing Chase.

Throw in more or less the same ingredients in the mix – except for the rider with Boss away in Australia on holidays and swapping with Michael Rodd and an even worst draw (13 versus 7) – and invariably, trainer Steven Burridge would be loath to change a winning formula.

Lucky Justice (Michael Rodd) scores back-to-back wins in Race 7 on Friday.

Leaping straight out of the machine, Lucky Justice was scrubbed up early just to take up a prominent spot, before again being charted on a wide trip while punching the breeze, but always ambling well within his own steam.

Upfront, Manoel Nunes had slammed on the brakes aboard Knight Chen Bay, but Super Joe (Barend Vorster) would not be caught napping as he came to serve it up to Knight Chen Bay on the outside in an obvious bid to wrest the lead or pre-empt any tactical sit-and-sprint affair.

Nunes immediately responded by clicking Knight Chen Bay up to match motors with Super Joe while Lucky Justice ($32) had no other choice but to throw down the gauntlet by circumnavigating the two eye-balling leaders as the final turn loomed.

In one fell swoop, Lucky Justice dashed to the front, but Super Joe was not done for the night as he mounted a stiff fightback on Lucky Justice’s nearside. For a fleeting moment, it looked like Super Joe would turn back the tables, but Lucky Justice still had some petrol left as he clung on to a slender half-length advantage all the way to the line.

Arr Flair (Alan Munro) finished third another length away. The winning time was 1min 40.07secs for the Polytrack mile.

Burridge said that with his ample corpulence and giant strides, Lucky Justice is cut out for such free-galloping tactics on the periphery.

“Glen rode him the same way at his last win. He’s got big strides and you cannot break his stride, just steady him up on the outside and he will then race at his best,” said the Australian mentor.

“Michael was supposed to ride him last week but the race was scratched. As Glen is still away, I put Michael on and he rode this horse a treat.”

Rodd certainly got the timing down pat even if he was getting a leg-up on the Lucky Stable-owned galloper for the first time in a race. He trialled him once.

“This horse is really flying at the moment. He’s got a great set of lungs and he does it at both ends,” said Rodd.

“Steve said he would be wound up but I was able to get a rest twice – down the back and coming down the hill. I got to work on him from the 600m and he showed a good will to win.”

With that second success from 11 outings, Lucky Justice has seen his account swell to just under $90,000 for the Lucky Stable of Mr Robert Ng.

Nimitz declares war at first outing

The $35,000 Open Maiden race over 1200m produced a shock result with the winning debut of $120 roughie Nimitz on Friday.

Ridden by Singapore’s leading jockey Vlad Duric, the Steven Burridge-trained newcomer flew the lids before spearing over to the front with little fuss.

But once in front, he got a touch keen, throwing his head about once in a while, even though he had the shadow roll and the hood on.

Nimitz (Vlad Duric) springs a major upset to score on debut.

His experienced pilot, however, was on top of things throughout, and once the gelding was rebalanced into the home straight, he gave another turn of speed to kick clear to a commanding two-length win from another debutant Howl (Olivier Placais).

Favourite Lim’s Magic (Glen Boss) rattled home late on the outside to take third place another neck away. The winning time was 1min 10.46secs for the 1200m on the Long Course.

Burridge said Nimitz came to him unraced with one barrier trial win at Wyong under his belt, but he could still feel his rawness right away.

“Wade (son) bought him. He won a barrier trial at Wyong, but he was still very green when he started working,” said the Australian conditioner.

“It took me a while to get it right. I thought he had ability but he was drawn awkwardly on the outside, which was a bit of a query, but he won good in the end.

“It’s great for his owner, Andrew, who is my accountant, and Ron Shim, and of course a big thank you goes to my staff.”

Duric said Nimitz, a four-year-old by Ready’s Image, was still the raw deal, but should develop into a handy individual once he gets the racing caper down pat.

“He’s still very raw and green. When he got to the front, he was like ‘what do I do now?’,” said the Australian jockey.

“He hung out the whole way in the straight, but he kept hitting the line very strongly.”

Nimitz declares war at first outing

The $35,000 Open Maiden race over 1200m produced a shock result with the winning debut of $120 roughie Nimitz on Friday.

Ridden by Singapore’s leading jockey Vlad Duric, the Steven Burridge-trained newcomer flew the lids before spearing over to the front with little fuss.

But once in front, he got a touch keen, throwing his head about once in a while, even though he had the shadow roll and the hood on.

 

Nimitz (Vlad Duric) springs a major upset to score on debut.

His experienced pilot, however, was on top of things throughout, and once the gelding was rebalanced into the home straight, he gave another turn of speed to kick clear to a commanding two-length win from another debutant Howl (Olivier Placais).

Favourite Lim’s Magic (Glen Boss) rattled home late on the outside to take third place another neck away. The winning time was 1min 10.46secs for the 1200m on the Long Course.

Burridge said Nimitz came to him unraced with one barrier trial win at Wyong under his belt, but he could still feel his rawness right away.

“Wade (son) bought him. He won a barrier trial at Wyong, but he was still very green when he started working,” said the Australian conditioner.

“It took me a while to get it right. I thought he had ability but he was drawn awkwardly on the outside, which was a bit of a query, but he won good in the end.

“It’s great for his owner, Andrew, who is my accountant, and Ron Shim, and of course a big thank you goes to my staff.”

Duric said Nimitz, a four-year-old by Ready’s Image, was still the raw deal, but should develop into a handy individual once he gets the racing caper down pat.

“He’s still very raw and green. When he got to the front, he was like ‘what do I do now?’,” said the Australian jockey.

“He hung out the whole way in the straight, but he kept hitting the line very strongly.”

Eclipse Splash lowers Chopin’s colours

It was a scenario not many would have predicted, but Eclipse Splash turned giant-killer in the $80,000 Class 3 Division 1 race over 1400m on Friday night.

That was the race that Michael Clements’ unbeaten rising star Chopin’s Fantaisie had picked to make his comeback after a 40-day layoff.

But a major upset was in the air when the $8 hot favourite was further back than he normally was in the running.

Eclipse Splash (A’Isisuhairi Kasim) denies the fast-finishing Chopin’s Fantaisie (Glen Boss) of a fifth consecutive win.

Seventh for most of the way while noted frontrunner Big Man (Vlad Duric) led from Eclipse Splash, Chopin’s Fantaisie had the same number of horses to run past upon cornering.

Upfront, the white face of Eclipse Splash ($29) had hit the front with great cheek with lightweight Show Far Show Good (Derreck David) trying to stake a claim as well.

Well ridden by A’Isisuhairi Kasim, Eclipse Splash was doing his best work at the finish and holding his margin very well, even if he was stargazing a touch.

Just when trainer Steven Burridge and Indonesian outfit Eclipse Stable thought their charge would upstage the hotpot easily, the latter started to sprout wings under Glen Boss’s hard riding.

For a second, it looked like Chopin’s Fantaisie would spare himself the blushes, but Eclipse Splash still had some petrol left in the tank as he hung on with half-a-length to spare in the end.

Smokie Gariza (Oscar Chavez) also joined the fray on the outside but peaked on his run to finish third another half-a-length away. The winning time was 1min 22.2secs for the 1400m on the Short Course.

Burridge described Eclipse Splash as a genuine horse who has exceeded his expectations ever since he came to him after his sole winning debut in Kuala Lumpur for Frank Maynard.

“He’s done a very good job, he’s an up-and-coming horse, very promising and with a lot of scope,” said the Australian trainer.

“Coming off from Malaysia, his form has been quite solid ever since. The favourite was hard to beat but he’s been a bit unlucky, I don’t know.

“But my eyes were on my horse and Harry rode him very well. There was a strong pace and Harry just sat off it and rode him really well to the line.

“Here I again have to thank Sully (Eoin Sullivan), the racing manager for the owner, Mr Iman Hartono who is here tonight.

“The horse has had five starts for me and he continues to improve. Tonight he won in a very strong Class 3 race.”

A’Isisuhairi said Eclipse Splash was still a bit of a baby, but certainly had plenty of upsides about him.

“I rode him at his two previous wins, and I’ve won on him again tonight. He showed me again how good he was,” said the Malaysian jockey.

“He’s still learning but he is on his way to better things. He can gallop, and from the way he won in Malaysia, I knew he could win in Class 4 and I always believed he could win in Class 3, too.

“Once he puts it all together, he will turn into a decent horse.”

The two-time Singapore champion apprentice jockey said he thought he would dig Eclipse Splash up a little earlier this time going with his last barrier trial on August 17.

“He used to settle midfield but he won going all the way at his last run and he again showed speed at his last trial,” he said.

“He jumped good today and as he’s a horse who doesn’t like to be held back, I slipped some reins and let him stride along to sit off behind the leader.

“He was very comfortable and once he found his balance, he kicked clear, but he wanted to stop once he hit the front. He was twitching his ears, thinking the job was done, but he’s got big strides and he just kept going.”

Sullivan said he had not been all that confident the Showcasing four-year-old would come up trumps with the presence of Chopin’s Fantaisie in the line-up, but was glad his visit along with Mr Hartono was greeted with a superb win and an opportunity to head on down to the winner’s circle for a photograph.

“I wasn’t sure he could win, but we still decided to come to Singapore to watch him and we’ve also got Moritz Eclipse (just failed to catch favourite Justice Light) in the last race,” said Sullivan.

“Eclipse Splash is still a bit weak but Steve has done a great job with him and Harry seems to get along so well with him.

“The owners have bought a half-brother of his. It’s still a baby and should be racing here soon.”

With that third win from five outings, Eclipse Splash has taken his stakes earnings past the $115,000 mark for the Eclipse Stable, not to mention the RM40,000 he made in Malaysia from that one-from-one win.

Lim’s Racer back to her best as she takes last

Former Aushorse Golden Horseshoe winner Lim’s Racer returned from bone chips surgery a brilliant winner on Sunday.

Unsighted since an unplaced run in a Class 4 race over 1200m in February, the Red Giant mare again reigned supreme in her customary on-the-pace style to make it barrier-to-box in the last race, the $60,000 Class 4 race over 1100m on Polytrack.

Ridden by star Hong Kong apprentice jockey Matthew Poon, Lim’s Racer, wearing earmuffs for the first time and pacifiers again, shot to the lead from her handy barrier before dropping anchor to catch her breath midrace.

Lim’s Racer (Matthew Poon) makes every post a winning one first-up from a break.

Wonderful Knight (Benny Woodworth) and Grey Falcon (Manoel Nunes) made a line of three as they stayed in close attendance, but she always looked like she was being ridden on a piece of cotton.

When Poon went for the shillelagh in the home straight, Lim’s Racer ($25) responded with a potent acceleration that left Wonderful Knight standing, but not quite Grey Falcon who persevered with his challenge on the outside.

Race-favourite The Cosmos (Zawari Razali) was within striking distance as well, but Lim’s Racer never showed any letting up as she went on to salute the judge by 1 ¼ lengths from Grey Falcon with The Cosmos third another 1 ¾ lengths away. The winning time was 1min 4.94secs for the 1100m on the Polytrack.

Winning trainer Steven Burridge was delighted his former juvenile champion (2016) has not lost her qualities after the operation, even if he thought the 2016 Group 2 Aushorse Golden Horseshoe (1200m) winner might have needed the run.

“She’s always been a high-quality filly, but you never know what can happen after a chip operation,” said the Australian handler.

“You cannot train her 100% as you would train another horse. I thought she would be underdone, but hoping her class would see her through.

“You can only hope you’ve done enough for her to run a good race, and she would not be too taxed. I was glad to see her begin well as she bombed the start once (Group 3 Juvenile Championship).”

Burridge also praised the copybook ride from Poon, who said he had nothing but good vibes after he got acquainted with her in a gallop.

“I was told she had an injury, but when I galloped her, she felt normal. I was quite confident with her,” said Poon who was sealing off his lightning two-week Kranji stay on a winning note – his sixth in 26 rides (read other report).

“She jumped quickly and I gradually let her stride to the front. Once she got going again in the straight, she was too good.”

The win brought up a perfect afternoon for Burridge as his only other runner Lucky Justice came with a sustained run under Glen Boss to land the chocolates in the $60,000 Class 4 Division 2 race over 1600m.

“It’s been a good day at the office. The horses are running well these days,” said Burridge.

“We went through a bit of a quiet time, but things have really picked up since, and let’s just hope it stays that way.”

With that third win from seven starts, Lim’s Racer has now taken her prizemoney record past the $250,000 mark for the Lim’s Stable.

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


28/07/2017

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

09/07/2017

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.

Juicy payout at the Casino

Lim’s Casino scored an upset win after he made all the running in the $60,000 Class 4 Division 3 race over 1200m on Sunday.

The Casino Prince four-year-old, who has not scored since September 23, the last of his previous three wins for Steven Burridge and the Lim’s Stable, has not been running too badly, but somehow, he was a little friendless in the betting, looking at his generous odds of $101.

Granted, $11 favourite Copacabana looked a moral after his flying second to Knight Chen Bay at his last run, but the Cliff Brown-trained galloper was never dangerous, staying at the rear right through, to beat two home.


Lim’s Casino (Glen Boss) on his way to victory in Race 3.

But up at the top of the line, Lim’s Casino (Glen Boss) controlled the race to a nicety after a smart jump. When Bear Witness (Danny Beasley) came armed with a stiff challenge at the top of the straight, some thought Lim’s Casino would knock up, but he responded like a bulldog inside the last 300m to prevail by one length from a game Bear Witness.

The fast-closing Effortless (John Powell) gave a fleeting impression he could sneak in between the duelling duo, but could only run third another 1 ½ lengths away. The winning time was 1min 10.8secs for the 1200m on the Long Course.

Burridge, who was recording his 20th win for the year, said Lim’s Casino was no world beater, but he does take some beating when things go his way.

“He’s a honest horse. Things did not quite work out at his last couple of starts,” said the Australian conditioner.

“He wouldn’t have won but he could have placed both times.”

Boss, who was at his first pairing with Lim’s Casino, said it was a straightforward run from the word go.

“He had a good jump and found the lead quite easily. He just got the right run from that point onwards,” said the Australian jockey.

“He was a bit strong in the lead, but I was able to get him to steady up, and he was just too good in the straight.”

With that fourth win, Lim’s Casino has now taken his total prizemoney past the $140,000 level for the Lim’s Stable.