Trainer Jason Lim is rather guarded about this team’s winning chances on Sunday, instead looking forward to a better day next week, but is still counting on a decent run from his new highest-rated resident Eye Guy.
The bold frontrunner, who won all his four races (1200m to 1400m) for his former trainer Michael Clements by leading, will be at his first start for the Singaporean handler in the $85,000 Class 2 race over 1100m on Polytrack.
Prior to Eye Guy’s (85 points) transfer, it was Tesoro Privado on 79 points who took top billing on Lim’s horse ratings charts.
On paper, a dream start for the new combination looks tricky. The Bradbury’s Luck five-year-old has seen his form taper off since his last win on March 17, 2019, he has drawn 12 from 12 and faces some stiff opposition against the likes of Zac Kasa, Lim’s Dream, Aramaayo and My Dreamliner.
But Lim said that Eye Guy, who was at one stage thrown in the Dubai mix by his owner Joe Singh earlier in the year, has done nothing wrong since coming under his care, and with the right run, a forward showing is not to be ruled out.
“Eye Guy has been working very well. He won his last trial (July 9) with 57kgs,” said the second-season trainer.
“But he’s got an outside barrier, and it’s a very tough field, but we’ll try our best.”
In terms of tactics, Lim hopes his new ward will tap into his natural gate speed to find the best possible spot early, but ultimately, it’s the guy on top who makes the final call.
David Hill’s former assistant-trainer said he would instruct his apprentice jockey Dennis Tan Zhi Xian to set him alight from the outside barrier, but to ease off if they can’t beat the speed on the inside.
“There’ll be a lot of speed in that race. I told Dennis to roll forward, but if he can’t lead, to just take a sit,” said Lim.
“I can tell you he’s 110% fit. He’ll definitely run a good race.”
Lim sent out one of the largest teams (11 runners) at the first meeting back from the three-month break on July 11, but met with little joy. He collected two third placings (Elena Of Avalor and Golden Thunder) as his best showing.
He didn’t sound too upbeat about his team of only six runners faring any better on Sunday, but if he is to pad up on his current score of nine winners, he said it would more likely be at the next meeting on August 2.
“The horses went average on the first day, but Elena Of Avalor ran a nice third,” said Lim.
“Elena is not a bad mare, she is the first horse Joe Singh sent to us. Then came four more, Eye Guy, Touch The Clouds, El Chapo and a new horse, Michaelearnstorock.
“I think Bright Sun worked very well and I hope she can run well, too.”
The four-year-old mare by Snitzel is another stable transfer, who didn’t set the world on fire in five starts for champion trainer Mark Walker, but she did show an abundance of speed.
She has drawn nine in the $50,000 Class 4 Division 2 race over 1100m and will also be ridden by Tan.
Lim, who racked up a laudable haul of 13 winners at his first season in 2019 after getting his licence in April, said he had saved his better bullets for next Sunday.
“It’d be nice if any of our four other horses (Moonraker, Perfect Mission, Star Bullet and Romantic) wins this week, but I think it should be a better day for us next week,” said Lim, who has a pair of able hands in former jockey Richard Lim (no relation) as assistant-trainer.
“We’ve got Tesoro Privado dropping back in Class 3. He trialled very well last week (July 16), and Rapid Fire is also a good chance.
“Fight To Victory is an Emergency Acceptor this Sunday and is unlikely to run. I will run him again next week, and he should go well, too.”
– Singapore Turf Club