Gray hopes Lim's Cruiser's luck will change on Sunday
The boom on LIM'S CRUISER has died down a touch after his two defeats in the first two legs of the Singapore Four-Year-Old Challenge.
But trainer Stephen Gray is confident the son of Casino Prince can take centrestage when it really matters in this Sunday's third leg and grand final, the $1.15 million Group 1 Emirates Singapore Derby over 2,000m.
Lim's Cruiser was coming off a hot streak of three Group successes - the Group 2 EW Barker Trophy, Group 3 Rocket Man Sprint and Group 1 Lion City Cup - but ran third to Alibi in the Group 2 Stewards' Cup (1,200m) as the even-money favourite and fourth in the Group 1 Patron's Bowl (1,400m), both won by Alibi.
Gray thought the Lim's Stable galloper was a little stiff at his last run, but still showed plenty of ticker to run up close to the winner.
"He was a little unlucky. He couldn't get a run between the 300m and 400m.
"By the time he came out, it was too late. The bird had flown but he still found the line very strongly," said the Kiwi handler, who won the 2007 Singapore Derby with another horse raced by Lim Siah Mong of Lim's Stable, Lim's Prestige.
"He's still in good form and he worked good and we will just keep him ticking over until Sunday."
Gray has always had the Derby as Lim's Cruiser's main mission, but that does not necessarily mean he thinks the 101-rated gelding has got the trip down his alley.
"The trip is a concern. I always thought he needed a trip but he is going over 2,000m for the first time, and that is always a concern," said Gray.
"He's won the Lion City Cup and now he is in the Derby. Not many horses can boast that to their resume.
"Look, he is fresh-up, he ran super at his last two runs. His form is very good and maybe his luck will change on Sunday."