Lim's Sparkle wins in three-way finish
Winner survives protest by rider of fellow $12 joint-favourite Captain Jamie
The connections of $12 joint-favourite LIM'S SPARKLE must have heaved a collective sigh of relief that history did not repeat itself after Race 2 at Kranji last night.
You see, three starts ago on June 4, the Steven Burridge-trained and Lim's Stable-owned horse was first past the post by a nose but lost the race on objection for interference by the rider of the second horse Winterfell.
Last night, Lim's Sparkle was again involved in another protest after holding off trainer Ricardo Le Grange's Captain Jamie, the other joint-favourite, by a mere short head in the Restricted Maiden event over 1,400m on turf.
But, luckily, the objection was overruled and Lim's Sparkle got his first success from 13 starts.
Otherwise, it would have been another figure 2 beside his name in his race record and that would have been his third in his last four starts.
Last time out on June 16, he also finished second, a length behind Laughing Buffalo. But he could have won that day had he not been held up in the early part of the straight and again passing the 200m mark.
Lady Luck decided to smile on Lim's Sparkle's last night.
Ridden by apprentice R Zawari, the horse bounced out well and led. He was two lengths clear of Alrina and Brimstone early. Then came Captain Jamie and Auspicious Day.
Alrina got to about half a length of Lim's Sparkle on straightening but that was as close as he could get. Lim's Sparkle kicked again to be nicely clear.
Jockey Nooresh Juglall brought Captain Jamie up nicely but his mount suddenly dived inwards and he had to stop riding to straighten it.
Auspicious Day slipped up beautifully on the inside.
Lim's Sparkle was still about two lengths clear with 200m to go. Captain Jamie gave a last-minute lunge. Auspicious Day did likewise.
But the winner held on to beat Captain Jamie by a short head, with a neck to Auspicious Day.
Trainer Burridge thought Captain Jamie would probably lead and praised Zawari for taking the initiative to roll ahead after a good jump.
"We thought Ricardo's horse would probably lead and we probably take a seat," said the Australian.
"But we jumped a length better than him and the boy took the initiative to ride his own race and won, and that's amazing. He's a good boy. Hopefully, we'll give him more rides."
It was the first time in 13 starts that Lim's Sparkle was able to take up a forward role, which surprised Burridge a bit.
"We thought he would be better ridden behind but we drew a bit awkward today and, if he went back, it would have been a bit hard.
"You know, he could get caught wide, so we elected to go forward since he has showed more pace than what I thought today," said Burridge.