By Michael Lee, Singapore Turf Club
Jockey Danny Beasley is looking forward to the ride on Jason Lim’s exciting newcomer Crystal Warrior in a Class 4 race over 1100m next Saturday (see earlier report), but should he progress to the Group 3 Singapore Three-Year-Old Sprint (1200m) three weeks later, that’s where his engagement ends.
It was always an unwritten agreement Lim’s Kosciuszko would be his ride in the former first Leg of the Singapore Three-Year-Old Challenge (canned this year), which will be run on June 27.
Even if Crystal Warrior (third in a Group 3 in Australia) was to win like the next Rocket Man at his Kranji debut, Beasley would not budge.
The Kermadec three-year-old’s hard-fought win in a Class 4 1200m race with no world beaters last Saturday didn’t sway him either.
The comeback freelance jockey likes to spread himself around, like he’d always done at his first Singapore stint from 2007 to 2017 – and he does link up with Lim (Songgong Hera is a winning combo for the pair), but the Meagher-Lim’s Stable axis remains his iron rice bowl.
Besides, he just won a Group 1 with Lim’s Lightning in the Lion City Cup (1200m) a month ago, before guiding the same horse to a super second in the Group 1 Kranji Mile (1600m) on Saturday.
With Lim’s Kosciuszko being at present the champion owner’s next torchbearer, it would take more than a crowbar to prise him off the ride.
“Jason’s horse is a promising horse I have spent time with at his trials and gallops, and I’m more than happy to ride him first-up next Saturday, but I’m sticking to Lim’s Kosciuszko in the 3YO races,” said Beasley.
“I’ve had a good relationship with Mr Lim Siah Mong and Daniel in the last few years and I have to repay them by staying loyal.
“Lim’s Kosciuszko is an exciting horse. At his last win in Class 4, he struggled a bit, but he did it with 56.5kgs which is not an easy task. To me, he still came through this race with flying colours.
“Hotshots Slam gave a good kick, but Lim’s Kosciuszko dug deep to catch him and put his head in front. His time was very good (1min 9.63secs), not far from Kharisma’s (1min 9.33secs). I couldn’t have asked for more.”
Even if it’s the win that matters (after all he is unbeaten in three runs), it left a slight bittersweet taste of ‘was that it?’ to some, but Beasley begged to differ. To him, that first real time under the pump may well have unleashed the beast in the case-hardened horse.
“This race will be the making of the horse. It was the first time I had to go for him,” he said.
“At his first win when Eliot Ness came up to him, he got going again and when he won with Harry (A’Isisuhairi Kasim), it was incredibly easy, Harry didn’t hurt him then.
“You could tell his trackwork had done him a world of good but that last win was a proper performance. It will tighten him up and grow him up and he will go to another level next.
“He actually reminds me a lot of Affleck. They’re both not very tall, but are both so both good-natured and relaxed.
“They don’t show much in their work but at his first win, I was like, gee, this horse can gallop.
“He’s by Kermadec who was a miler. He has got a good temperament, is the right horse for here in Singapore, is a few lengths off the best, and I think in his own age group, he will definitely get the mile.”