By Michael Lee, Singapore Turf Club
Comeback jockey Danny Beasley has not taken too long to return to the winner’s enclosure after he booted the well-supported Lim’s Unique home in the opening event on Saturday.
After a stint as an assistant-trainer cum senior track rider to Daniel Meagher in the last four years, the Golden Slipper-winning Australian jockey came out of retirement to ride at his first meeting back as a jockey last week.
He did not finish in the money in four rides that were not exactly top chances, but he didn’t pass up on the first live chance that came his way at the second meeting on Saturday, Lim’s Unique ($13) in the $30,000 Class 5 Division 1 race over 1200m on Polytrack.
Jockey Danny Beasley makes a winning return aboard Lim’s Unique in the opener on Saturday.
A winner of close to 2,000 winners before he hung up his boots in 2017 and whose last win came with Kolombia on July 9, 2017, Beasley, 45, was ecstatic at the weigh-in.
Other than the missing crowd cheers – and a few more wrinkles – Beasley said everything felt like it was just yesterday, especially that winning feeling which was just as exhilarating as ever, if not more after the long time away, the longest he has had in his 25-year-old stellar career.
“It’s great to get that first winner back early, there’ll be less pressure on my shoulders. It was very different, though, with the empty grandstand, it felt surreal, but that is the new normal now,” he said.
“Last week was all a bit rushed going into that first day back. It was only on the Monday before it was made official I got my licence (till end of the year) back.
“So it was all about blowing the cobwebs out and get some fitness under the belt. I was looking forward to the next meeting and I made Lim’s Unique my best chance (out of five rides following two withdrawals).
“I thought he’d be very competitive in Class 5 and he didn’t disappoint.”
After a clean break from his wide alley, the Uncle Mo four-year-old, who boasted only one win from his previous dozen of starts (also 1200m on Polytrack three runs back in December), led from a fairly strung-out field before a few shakes of the reins from Beasley cued him off to an easy 1 ¾-length win from St Alwyn (Marc Lerner) with Diamond Mine (Simon Kok Wei Hoong) third another quarter-length away.
The winning time was 1min 12.39secs for the Polytrack 1200m.
Beasley hopes that early first win will be the trigger to more at this second lease of life, which he said would not have been possible without the help of his staunch supporters and the blessing of the Singapore Turf Club.
“The support from the Meagher family and Mr Lim (Siah Mong) has never stopped throughout all these years even when I was not riding,” said Beasley, a winner of 528 races at Kranji before his shock exit, including six at Group 1 level.
“A big thank you to them and also to the Club for giving me the opportunity to do what I love doing. I just hope the crowds will be back soon as we need them to get the blood pumping again.”
Meagher said he couldn’t help feel a touch emotional as he went down to lead in his good mate’s first winner back.
“It’s just good to see such a good jockey getting his licence back and riding a winner so early. He’s so dedicated and he’s come back like he’s never left,” said the fellow Australian.
“He’s been a very close friend for a very long time, he’s been a massive part of my life. It’s so good to see him back into it again, it’s such a good story, isn’t it?
“I’m sure he’ll get a lot more opportunities from now on and from the other bigger stables, and I have no doubt he’ll keep riding winners for everybody.”
Meagher said Lim’s Unique was a horse that has taken time to be put together, but it would seem the penny has finally dropped.
“This horse has been a work in progress,” said Meagher who is enjoying a good start to 2021 having now reached the score of five winners to sit in fourth place on the log, nine behind Singapore champion trainer Michael Clements.
“He was very soft and immature. I just got him through trials and a lot of running to make him more seasoned and consistent.
“He will get the mile one day. I think he’s got a couple of wins left in him.”
With that second success in 13 starts, Lim’s Unique has now brought up around $50,000 in stakes earnings to the Lim’s Stable.