IN Racing
Kiwi-bred treble in Singapore
“It was only by a neck but that was a very good win, to have that pressure first-up and win like he did."
Singapore Turf Club | March 04, 2024
Lim's Saltoro (inside) remains unbeaten at his fourth start. Photo: STC

With eyes on bigger prizes in the coming months with stable star Lim’s Kosciuszko (Kermadec), the triumvirate of jockey Marc Lerner, owner Lim Siah Mong and trainer Daniel Meagher hit top form at Kranji on Saturday with a kiwi bred treble of wins.

The most noteworthy win among them came from Lim’s Saltoro (NZ) (Shamexpress), who kept his unbeaten streak intact after he carried Lim’s Stable’s famous dark blue and yellow star silks to victory first-up after four months of break.

As expected, the four-year-old son of Shamexpress had plenty of support on the back of three wins from as many starts and started as the favourite in a solid Class 4 field.

After jumping fair from barrier six, Lerner pushed Lim’s Saltoro forward into a three-horse speed battle, kicking clear upon turning for home before being challenged by Pacific MV in the final furlong and battling out a win by a neck

Lim’s Saltoro’s fourth win took his prizemoney to over S$100,000 for the Lim’s Stable.

Meagher was quick to point out the neck margin belied the tenacity of that win and thought Lim’s Saltoro will be a major player in the upcoming feature races.

“Good horse and tough win,” said Meagher, who now sits second on the trainers’ log on 12 wins, nine less than reigning champion trainer Jason Ong.

“It was only by a neck but that was a very good win, to have that pressure first-up and win like he did.

“Vlad said after the race that he thought his horse (Pacific MV) had us beat four times in the straight but he (Lim’s Saltoro) kept kicking. He’s a very good horse.

“I think he really wants 1400m and will settle better on the turf but we had to race on the pace on the Polytrack to stay out of trouble and avoid the kickback.

“So he was out of his comfort zone today but he showed good old-fashioned intestinal fortitude to win. If we keep him right, he will win the Group races.

“We will set him for the four-year-old races starting with the Silver Bowl (1400m) and I reckon with his demeanour and attitude, the 1800m of the (Singapore) Derby is in his sights.”

Opened to four-year-olds, the Silver Bowl will be run on 9 June and the Singapore Derby will be held on 21 July.

Lerner agreed with Meagher that the win was better than the margin in the book and the Singapore Derby would be a fitting four-year-old finale for a horse he has plenty of praise for.

“That was impressive,” said the French jockey, who sits third on the jockeys’ premiership with 14 wins for the season.

“It was all class to do that after a long break for him (Lim’s Saltoro) and he still has improvement.

“A lot of things were against us today. We knew the pressure would be on and I rode him like he was the best horse in the race.

“He won on ability today but will improve when I can settle him in races and chase. He’s not an easy horse to ride and train, he needs a routine, but I think he will get over more distance for sure.

“Daniel will set him for the Derby and that will be his finale.”

Lim’s Smythe (NZ) (Saxon Warrior) got the ball rolling after he secured his maiden win in the Open Maiden race over 1400m, before Lim’s Saltoro and then Lim’s Bestbreaker (NZ) (Battle Paint) completed the hat-trick of wins in a Class 4 race (1600m).

Of the treble of wins for Meagher and Lim’s Stable, Lerner was happy to be in a good environment that was producing results.

“It was a long day but a super one and I’m happy for Dan and Mr Lim,” he continued.

“Dan gives you confidence and I think that’s important and there is trust on both sides. The team (of horses) is getting smaller, but they all come to the races with winning chances.

“You saw the results from three wins today and that was a team effort.”

Lim's Saltoro Daniel Meagher Shamexpress Saxon Warrior Lim's Smythe Lim's Bestbreaker Battle Paint