Via Michael Lee, Singapore Turf Club
Promising apprentice jockey Abdul Syahir is hoping his perfect chemistry with bold frontrunner Lim’s Dream continues this Friday even if the wide gate has poured some cold water.
Tan Kah Soon’s protégé has been in flying form this year, even if, interestingly, the bulk of his winning rides have been supplied elsewhere.
Lim’s Dream’s trainer Daniel Meagher (four) and trainer James Peters (three) are behind more than half of the winning haul for the Singaporean lad, who just turned 27 last Saturday. Superten is the only winner he rode for his boss Tan.
Two of Meagher’s wins hail from Lim’s Dream precisely (other two are Hero Star and High Limit). Syahir hopes he can still keep the flawless two-from-two record on the Duporth three-year-old going as the gelding rises in class in the $70,000 Class 3 race over 1200m on Friday.
At the first combination, Lim’s Dream led from barrier to box in a Class 4 race over 1200m on turf, bolting up by three lengths.
The second win in similar grade but over 1100m on Polytrack – which was also at Lim’s Dream’s last start when resuming from a three-month break since his unplaced run in the Group 3 JBBA Singapore Three-Year-Old Sprint (1200m) – was even more impressive. Sitting handy this time, Lim’s Dream let down in the straight to score in a hand-canter by five lengths in the smart time of 1min 5.04secs.
Unsurprisingly, Syahir gets the gig from Meagher again. Though Lim’s Dream has plenty of upside going forward after that last win, the young man is treading carefully.
“The bad draw (12 from 12) is a concern, but I think my horse still has the best gate speed in the race. He will just have to do a bit more work to get to the front,” said Syahir.
“He’s a horse you have to let him stride on his own where he is happy. I haven’t ridden him since the last win, even though I help Dan a fair bit with his trackwork as he’s just next door from my boss, but he did tell me he’s kept him fresh for this bigger test.
“I know Charger in the race as I rode him before (second to Biraz in a Kranji Stakes C race over 1200m on March 23). He’s quite a good horse and can come from off the pace.
“My horse is also running against stronger horses this time, but if he’s well and is in good shape, I think he should be able to handle it well.”
Syahir currently sits in third place on 11 winners on the Singapore apprentice jockeys’ premiership, but is effectively in second place given the current leader Wong Chin Chuen (16 winners) recently came out of his time and is not in the running in the title race anymore.
It’s a matter of time before rising star Simon Kok Wei Hoong – who joined into the 2019 season late following his stint in Tasmania – on 15 winners eclipses Wong, but Syahir is determined to stay in the shake-up.
“Simon is a good rider and has gone past me, but I’m not going out without a fight,” he said.
“I’ll do my very best to ride winners. Even if I don’t win the title, I’m still very happy what I’ve done and where I am now, considering that last season I didn’t do that well with only two winners.
“This year I’ve had better support and better quality rides. I’m lucky to have CC Wong at the stable, he helps me a lot.
“My master Kah Soon also guides me a lot. He even watches me on my rides for outside trainers and will give me his comments.”
Syahir is booked for four rides on Friday and two rides on Sunday, with Lim’s Dream the one he has singled out as his standout chance.
“Lim’s Dream is my best chance this weekend. I’m riding Don’t Worry for the first time for Leticia Dragon, but he’s up in class (in the $50,000 Class 4 Division 3 race over 1100m),” said Syahir.
“But every ride is a chance for me to improve my riding and hopefully my score. I will as usual try my best on all of them.”
Syahir also rides Flying Yellow (Race 4) for Kuah Cheng Tee and Dayuan (Race 5) for Jason Lim on Friday and Clarton Fortune (Race 4) for Tan and Golden Spark (Race 5) for Kuah on Sunday.