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Kosciuszko back with a bang

3 minute read

After 10 previous runs in Group races both in Singapore and Hong Kong, Lim’s Kosciuszko did not fail to make a winning return first-up in the $100,000 Kranji Stakes A race (1200m) on Saturday.

LIM'S KOSCIUSZKO winning the KRANJI STAKES A Picture: Singapore Turf Club

Granted it was a drop in class for the seven-time Group 1 winner after his last hit-and-run assignment in the Group 1 Longines Hong Kong Mile (1600m) at Sha Tin racecourse last December, an overstay with quarantine issues after his second overseas mission did disrupted his upcoming prep.

Sent out as the expected hot favourite at $6, Lim's Kosciuszko (Marc Lerner) jumped well from barrier two before being eased out of the early speed battle to find a perfect sit three-back with cover.

It was General Command (Mohd Zaki) who led into the first bend, with company from Prosperous Return (Vitor Espindola) and Silent Is Gold (Manoel Nunes), while Major King (Iskandar Rosman) settled inside of Lim's Kosciuszko in the first five.

Taking no chances in what looked like a barrier trial for the champion horse than a fair dinkum race, Lerner was happy to move into contention five wide on the bend, while $162 outsider Kharisma (Ryan Curatolo) sat even wider. Renzo (Bruno Queiroz) made his move in the straight to make it a virtual line of six at the 275m.

Meanwhile, although Lim's Kosciuszko  was given a crack or two to keep his mind on the job at the furlong post, he looked the winner a long way from home.

Given it was well-documented that the reigning and likely two-time Singapore Horse of the Year was using this race as a stepping stone to bigger races in the upcoming months, his one-and-a-half length win over a brave Kharisma was outstanding.

Prosperous Return battled on admirably to finish third another one-and-a-quarter lengths back while Sacred Gift (Jerlyn Seow) ran on late another three-quarters-of-a-length away in fourth.

The winning time was a solid 1 min 10.87secs for the 1200m on the Polytrack. With that 18th win in 22 starts, the prizemoney won by the six-year-old son of Kermadec has ballooned to over $2.5 million for the Lim's Stable.

Winning trainer Daniel Meagher was ecstatic to see Lim's Kosciuszko back winning but more importantly, was just happy his star galloper got the run under his belt after his recent troubles.

"That was terrific after what he had been through," said the Australian conditioner.

"I don't need to go on about that quarantine issues after Hong Kong, but he (Lim's Kosciuszko) weighed in at 485kgs today and that's the heaviest (weight) he has ever raced at.

"So we knew he wasn't near his best fitness-wise and as I said before the race; win, lose or draw, we just wanted him to get through the race okay as he will benefit from the run regardless.

"Marc rode him perfectly. I didn't give him any instructions except to stay out of the deep sand (on the inside) and he (Lerner) was never going to hurt him.

"A couple of smacks (whips) kept his mind on the job and he won so well.

"He had a blow after and we expected that, but I just left the stables and he looked to have come through in really good shape. Hopefully he's the same tomorrow.

"He's tough."

Lerner was also in awe of what Lim's Kosciuszko was able to do after a limited preparation.

"To do what he (Lim's Kosciuszko) did today was incredible," said Lerner, who won back-to-back for Meagher in the $50,000 Class 4 Division 1 race (1100m) on Grand Avante ($36).

"The quarantine took so much out of him and he only started to get back to himself two or three weeks ago. People don't know that.

"So Daniel and I knew he needed this run and would improve.

"But as soon as I was legged up on him, I knew he was on his game. He knew he was at the races.

"He jumped well and settled beautifully under me. To be honest, he put himself into the race and I only had to tell him when to go.

"Again, we didn't care if he won or lost but he's the champ(ion) and he showed why today.

"The work behind the scenes to get him here today was important too. The farriers did a great job, so did everyone in the stable.

"Maybe (Lim's Kosciuszko) staying in Singapore was a blessing because people get to watch him in some big races. They love him and he will keep the place (Kranji) vibrant to the end."

Singapore Turf Club

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