Racing

Meagher hopes for a ‘Lightning’ strike

Trainer looking forward to follow dad's footsteps with Raffles Cup victory

Fourteen years after John Meagher trained his last Raffles Cup winner, his son, Daniel, can take a step towards filling dad's big boots.

A trainer in his own right at Kranji since 2016, he is on the brink of perpetuating the Meagher-Raffles Cup legacy tomorrow.

And the horse who could do it for him is Lim's Lightning.

His father, John, won the Raffles Cup three times in an illustrious training career.

Mayo's Music did it for him in 2004. In 2006 and 2007, he won with Lim's Classic and Lim's Objective.

The three Raffles Cup winners has Meagher Sr sharing the spotlight with Charles Leck, Michael Freedman and Cliff Brown.

Only Teh Choon Beng and Laurie Laxon have each lifted the Cup four times - and that's a record.

Incidentally, a win in the Raffles Cup would be a belated birthday present for Daniel and his father.

Meagher Jr celebrated his 38th birthday on Tuesday while his father will turn 73 today.

"It would be great if I could win Dad's favourite race on the Singapore calendar," said Meagher.

"Things have obviously changed now, but it would still be great if we can do it."

The Raffles Cup used to be run over the 1,800m but is now a 1,600m event and the change actually works better for Lim's Lightning.

Even if he has yet to tick off anything above 1,400m in his eight wins, he ran a cracker when bettered only by Minister in the Group 1 Kranji Mile in May.

Four months on, Meagher is confident Lim's Lightning, who gave him his first Group 1 success in the Lion City Cup over 1,200m in April, can come away with the top prize tomorrow.

"He's going better and racing better than he was in his early days, he's become a push-button horse," said Meagher.

"He was an absolute terror when he first arrived and even to get him to work in the sand ring, I had to sedate him."

However, and like all things, Lim's Lightning has also changed.

As Meagher said: "He has been amazing. He's exceeded our expectations."

Yes, it's a pretty picture and all that's left is for Lim's Lightning to strike again.

HORSE RACING