Via Michael Lee, Singapore Turf Club
Daniel Meagher and Benny Woodworth took the training and riding honours respectively after they combined to snare three of the eight races carded on Friday night.
The red-hot duo began their bumper haul with Lim’s Knight ($16) in the $50,000 Class 4 Division 1 race over 1000m before doubling the dose two races later with even-money favourite Lim’s Dream in the $70,000 Class 3 race over 1000m.
A double with their two best chances could have settled it as a good night at the office, but they were clearly in an insatiable mood when they also stole the last race, the $50,000 Class 4 race over 1600m with $76 longshot Yulong Medal, who punched late through a needlehole passage on the rails to seal a memorable meeting for the two long-time buddies.
For Meagher, the great night out tasted even sweeter with his father-mentor, ex-Kranji trainer John Meagher being on hand to watch his son run rings around his rivals.
Of the trio of winners, Yulong Medal pinching it late in a blanket finish might win the top prize for most spectacular, but from an angle of future potential, it was arguably Lim’s Dream who may well carry the greatest expectations.
The Lim’s Stable-owned Duporth four-year-old was at his fourth win in only 10 starts, and seems to have really turned the corner since his defeat in the Group 3 JBBA Singapore Three-Year-Old Sprint (1200m), in which he did, however, return lame post-race.
Always in the firing line from the get-go, Lim’s Dream produced the better finish halfway up the straight to master pacesetter Kiss Your Song (Matthew Kellady), who himself was being hailed the winner after he got rid of the pestering presence of The Big Easy (Chan Wei Sheng) at the point of the turn.
Lim’s Dream defeated Kiss Your Song by three parts of a length with Meagher’s second runner Invincible Ryker (Syahir Abdul) steaming home late to grab third place another 1 ¼ lengths away. Lim’s Dream stopped the clock at a smart 58.77 seconds for the 1000m on the Polytrack.
“It’s a great team effort first of all. For Lim’s Dream, Mick Dittman and Danny Beasley, who rides him in his trials, and myself discussed a lot about his race,” said Meagher.
“We’ve trained him beautifully and we gave him a chance to settle tonight. It was a typical Benny Woodworth ride, it was a gem of a ride.
“I think he’s a 1000m-1200m horse, we’ll keep him to the short sprints for now, but he may get 1400m one day.
“It’s great Dad is here to see him win as he pre-trained him in Melbourne. He’s got his quirks but we’ve learned a lot about him – and Invincible Ryker also ran enormous.”
Woodworth was full of praise of Lim’s Dream as he stepped off the scales at the post-race interview.
“He’s a very smart horse. As there were a lot of on-pace runners, we decided to take a sit this time,” said the Malaysian jockey.
“It panned out really well. He relaxed very well because of the strong pace and was too good in the end.”
That fourth win has now seen Lim’s Dream’s total prizemoney leap to around the $170,000 mark for the Lim’s Stable.
Standings-wise, the big harvest sees Woodworth consolidate his third place, while making good ground on second-placed Michael Rodd (who fired blanks). Woodworth sits on 44 winners, with a gap narrowed down to only three on Rodd’s score of 47 while the suspended Vlad Duric is still well clear at the top of the log on 60 winners.
Meagher on his part has leapfrogged over Shane Baertschiger, who also returned empty-handed, to sit in third place. Both handlers have saddled 39 winners, but Meagher is ahead on a countback for seconds. Two-time Singapore champion trainer Mark Walker leads comfortably on 57 winners, even if he had no winners on Friday.