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.
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.