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Meagher eyes more Kranji Mile success with Lim’s Kosciuszko

3 minute read

With Singapore racing set to cease operations in October, trainer Daniel Meagher won't get the opportunity to equal the late Laurie Laxon’s five-win record in the SIN G1 Kranji Mile (1600m). However, a victory in Saturday’s (18 May) SGD 1 million (approx. HKD 5.79 million) feature race will still go down as one for the ages.

LIM'S KOSCIUSZKO. Picture: Hong Kong Jockey Club.

Lim's Lightning led Meagher to his first Kranji Mile victory in 2022, securing him a spot on the list of Kranji Mile-winning trainers alongside his father, John Meagher, who won the race twice in 2004 and 2006 with Mayo's Music and Recast.

Last year, Meagher became just the second Kranji-based trainer to secure successive Kranji Mile victories as local champion Lim's Kosciuszko dominated the field to win comprehensively. The victory was one of six throughout a breakout 2023 for Lim's Kosciuszko, with five achieved at the highest level.

Since resuming from a ninth-place finish behind Hong Kong champion Golden Sixty in the G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Mile (1600m) on 10 December, Lim's Kosciuszko, or Kosi for short, has raced twice and won on both occasions.

First-up, he shouldered 131lb to victory in a Kranji Stakes A race over 1200m on the Polytrack, before tackling the SIN G2 EW Barker Trophy (1400m) on turf for the first time with a 130lb impost. Usually, higher-rated horses bypass such a race given the handicap conditions, but Lim's Kosciuszko has shown time and again that class is paramount.

Lim's Kosciuszko  stands to become only the second locally-trained horse to claim the Kranji Mile title in consecutive years if he prevails on Saturday, following Laurie Laxon-trained Better Than Ever's back-to-back wins in 2010 and 2011. Hong Kong-trained Southern Legend also achieved this feat, winning the Kranji Mile in 2018 and 2019 during its invitational period.

Trainer Tim Fitzsimmons is set to give Meagher a run for his money with his five-year-olds, Golden Monkey and Dream Alliance. Golden Monkey has yet to triumph over Lim's Kosciuszko in five encounters but has tested his mettle several times, while Dream Alliance narrowly lost by a short head in their single match-up in last year's SIN G1 Singapore Gold Cup (2000m). Fitzsimmons also saddles another five-year-old, Raising Sixty-One.

Trainer Steve Burridge enters the fray with a strong hand, featuring a trio of five-year-olds: Invincible Tycoon, Street Of Dreams and Cavalry. While the first two are familiar faces in Kranji's feature races, Cavalry might just be the wildcard with untapped potential.

Cavalry ran a luckless second to Golden Monkey in last year's SIN G1 Singapore Derby (1800m), and a subsequent bleed put him on the sidelines. Following a seven-month absence, he made a promising return in late March before a second-up win at this course and distance two weeks ago.

In total, 10 contenders are set for the final running of the Kranji Mile, first introduced in 2000 and elevated to Group 1 status in 2006.

Hong Kong Jockey Club

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