Trainer disappointed with his in-form horse's wide draw but optimistic for Saturday's race
Following the announcement of the barrier draws for Race 10 on Wednesday, Richard Lim felt depressed.
The rookie trainer had selected Songgong Hera as his best chance from the group that will be representing him in Kranji on Saturday.
It is not too difficult to understand why. The six-year-old Spirit Of Boom, who also has Pure Perfection in that sizzling $75,000 Novice race, has the greatest current form out of his ten runners (1,100m).
The twice-victim has not yet activated his 2022 account. However, two seconds at his past three races, including one to last Sunday's excellent Class 2 victor Tiger Roar, along with strong trackwork form suggested his turn was not far off.
Simon Kok, who won last Sunday's hat-trick game, has been signed up for the ride by Lim as an additional sign of his steady confidence.
However, Lim's confidence vanished like a punctured balloon when Songgong Hera drew 12 out of 14 in the $70,000 Class 3 race over 1,200 meters on Polytrack.
One of my primary hopes for the weekend was Songgong Hera. He performed admirably in his previous outing (finishing second to Speedy Missile), and on Saturday, he worked quite well on Track 2.
But I believe it will be challenging today because of the draw. He performs at his peak during races when the pace is fast, ideally with little to no work on the lead-up fence.
"With some luck, I hope he can sit usefully, possibly once off and with cover. We can only take a chance and pray for the best.
Even though Songgong Hera is more experienced on grass, Lim claimed that the all-weather track had not been a significant concern because the conditions had changed.
"Songgong Hera is capable of managing Polytrack. Even though his grass form is better, he did win there once, the man noted.
"For him, there were no other choices. Therefore, I registered him for that Polytrack race.
I wasn't too concerned about Polytrack, but now it won't be that simple because of the huge barrier.
The slim chance that Lim may rely on his other runner, Chicago Star, as a backup should Songgong Hera falter in opposition to horses like Illustrious, Paletas, or Nowyousee, has all but evaporated.
The four-year-old from Exceed and Excel had no better luck at the barriers. And he did even worse.
Chicago Star's ratings are likewise poor (14). We'll simply have to ride him for luck after he jumps out," added Lim, who has Benny Woodworth booked on the four-time champion.
Additionally, Chicago Star will have to defy a tendency that Lim has been unable to explain.
Chicago Star is more of a Class 4 horse than a Class 3 horse, according to him.
I have no idea why, but when he runs in Class 4, other horses chase him, whereas in Class 3, it's the opposite—he chases them.
But in racing, you never know; you just have to try your luck.
In his first season, Lim has performed admirably, producing 12 winners from a stable devoid of superstars.
On August 14, he mounted Global Spirit, his final victor.
The naturalized Singaporean stated, "Overall, it's been a good first season." "I have no complaints. We'll continue preparing for next year.
On the Singapore trainers' log, Lim is currently ranked 14th (out of 23 trainers), one spot ahead of his previous supervisor, Steven Burridge.
The 2006 Group 2 Queen Elizabeth II Cup was won by Lim as a jockey on the King And King-trained horse. The monarch, who was making her third and final formal state visit to Singapore, gave Lim the honor and privilege of receiving the trophy.