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Back-to-back Kranji Mile wins for Lim’s Kosciuszko

May 21, 2024 at 6:21:41 AM

Lim’s Kosciuszko lived up to expectations by successfully scoring back-to-back victories in the $1 million Group 1 Kranji Mile (1600m) on Saturday.

The win also gave the 2023 Kranji Mile winner an incredible eighth Group 1 wins - over distances ranging from 1200m to 2000m - arguably the best records seen among top gallopers in recent racing times in Singapore.

Given his record and dominance at set-weight races, the Daniel Meagher-trained six-year-old broke as the $7 favourite, while the Steven Burridge-trained Street Of Dreams was punted down to $32 late.

After jumping from barrier eight, Street Of Dreams (Bernardo Pinheiro) made his intentions clear early by pushing hard to lead. Lim's Kosciuszko (Marc Lerner) sat on his flank and Super Salute (Manoel Nunes) was closeby in third.

Meanwhile, as per pre-race instructions, jockey Chad Schofield had $28 second favourite Golden Monkey settled at the rear of the field from the wide gate 10, leaving about 12 lengths covering the 10-horse field in the backstraight.

The race complexion changed dramatically just after the 600m when Street Of Dreams wobbled under duress and left Lim's Kosciuszko a virtual sitting duck at the top of the straight on the Long Course while a wall of swoopers lined up behind, ready to pounce on him anytime.

Still, Lerner waited patiently until the 300m to set Lim's Kosciuszko alight and the six-year-old son of Kermadec quickly put a winning three-length gap on the field as Dream Alliance (Mark Zahra) burst through from the outside for one last crack at the champion.

Although the Tim Fitzsimmons-trained Dream Alliance made up ground, he still ran out of real estate in the end with Lim's Kosciusko winning by one-and-a-quarter length.

Fitzsimmons, who's stable had "bore the brunt" of the "machine", Lim's Kosciuszko on more than one Group 1 occasion, also filled the other minor placings with Golden Monkey another two lengths away in third and Raising Sixty-One (Bruno Queiroz) a further head away in fourth.

The winning time was 1 min 34.21secs for the 1600m on the Long Course. Lim's Kosciuszko's 20th win from 24 starts in Singapore has taken his winnings close to $3.2 million for the Lim's Stable.

"He's an amazing horse, isn't he?" Meagher said in an interview with racing presenter Ethan Mills after the race.

"He has just done everything we have asked him to and I'm really thankful for all the team; all the people back home in the stable.

"They've done an amazing job with him. He's won 20 races here, so you know he's just a fantastic horse.

"Great for Marc as there was a lot of pressure on him today but he's done a great job with the horse.

"I can't be any more happier; it's the whole team. I just tell them what to do and they executed it. They did it really well.

"We kept it simple. He does the same thing everyday. He's just a freak, isn't he? I mean, what else can he do? I'm just very proud of him and the whole team."

When asked by Mills of a potential Group 1 Singapore Gold Cup (2000m) tilt – a race Lim's Kosciuszko won when carrying 58kgs last year – Meagher did not hesitate.

"Yeah, why not?" said Meagher, who pulled off a brace on Saturday as Lim's Saltoro ($6) also saluted in the $100,000 Aramaayo 2020 Stakes, a Kranji Stakes A race (1200m) five races earlier.

"We will have to keep him sound and happy. That's our job and hopefully, we can have that."

Lerner, while looking as cool as the proverbial cucumber after weighing in, said things did not go as easily as it looked.

"We didn't want to go that early to be honest," said the French hoop.

"I was happy to be three-quarters (-of-a-length) off Street Of Dreams but it looked like he stopped instantly at the 600m; so I ended up leading.

"He just went up and go for it, so I tried to keep him as easy as I could and for as long as I could.

"He's just a champ(ion). I'm very happy today because my brother and his wife came here to see me.

"There was a lot of pressure before the race, so it's good to get it done. He was the best horse by a mile.

"There was no pace in the race and on the Long Course, we knew that people would pressure us early. We just wanted to get the job done and as you can see, Daniel has made a lot of the heart of Lim's Kosciuszko.

"It showed it was the horse that made this place (Kranji) better and I hope he can entertain the people till the end."

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