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Meagher hungry to add Silver Bowl trophy to the mantelpiece

Thanks mainly to some very ‘useful’ types in Lim’s Lightning and Lim’s Kosciuszko, trainer Daniel Meagher has won most Group races on offer in Singapore.

And given the dominance of his two stable stars over the last four or so years, the fact that the $110,000 Group 3 Silver Bowl (1400m) has eluded the young Australian conditioner is an oddity.

But one that can be rectified this Saturday when Meagher saddles two runners in the feature, with Lim’s Saltoro and January among the eight nominations.



Lim's Saltoro (Bruno Queiroz) winning the Aramaayo 2020 Stakes Kranji Stakes A race over 1200m on 18 May 2024, picture Singapore Turf Club

Lim’s Saltoro in particular looks a huge winning chance to knock in what would be his first Group win, with a race record that stands at six wins and one narrow defeat in only seven career starts.

And it may have been an unblemished record, bar his being beaten only by a short head by the unmovable force that is his stablemate Lim’s Kosciuszko, in the Group 2 EW Barker (1400m) on 21 April.

A star on the rise in Singapore and Lim’s Saltoro looks very hard to beat on Saturday, with his trainer bullish about a horse that he thinks can go all the way in his four-year-old year.

“He’s a serious horse,” said Meagher about the son of Shamexpress.

“He’s going great and seems to be improving every day. The 1400m of the Silver Bowl will suit him and there looks plenty of speed in the race, which will suit him too.

“(Jockey) Marc (Lerner) gave him a really soft trial the other day (finished fourth to Makin in trial no 2 on 30 May) and that was just to stimulate him (Lim’s Saltoro).

“He’s very fit and we don’t need to see his best at the trials. That’s not how our stable works. He came out of the trial in very good order and now it’s up to him on race day.

“He’s like a robot, so Marc can put him anywhere in races. A bit like Lim’s Lightning and Lim’s Kosciuszko and it’s a good trait to have. So he should lob in the first four, but will leave to Marc.

But while Meagher would love to win his first Silver Bowl, he was quick to point out that Lim’s Saltoro has three big races in this preparation.

“The (Group 1) Singapore Derby (over 1800m on 21 July) is his grand final,” he said.

“Yeah, he can win on Saturday and hopefully again over 1600m in the (Group 2) Stewards’ Cup (30 June), but it all leads up to the Derby.

“He’s by Shamexpress, who is a sprinting sire, but there is definitely some stamina on his dam’s side (Lamplighter). So hopefully his mum’s genes kick in when he gets over further.

“Look, he’s got a long way to go before he’s in the same league as the other two (Lim’s Lightning and Lim’s Kosciuszko) but he’s on the right path. Shame this place (Kranji) is closing (5 October).

Of his other runner in the Silver Bowl, Meagher was happy to report that January was fit and well after pulling up lame at his most recent outing.

“He usually jars up a bit after races and his last run was no different,” he explained after the son of Swiss Ace finished last in a Class 2 race over 1600m on 4 May.

“Our job is to get him back and I’m really happy with how he is going. And how he pulled up after his recent trial (finished sixth to Geobels Glory in trial no 1 on 20 May).

“He’s (January) smart on his day but definitely needs things to go his way in races. But if (jockey) Simon (Kok Wei Hoong) can give him a good run in transit, he can play a part for sure.

“If he stays healthy, he will follow the same (Singapore) Derby path as Lim’s Saltoro.”

And fans of Lim’s Kosciuszko will be happy to hear that the winner of the 2022 Singapore Derby is eyeing a return to racing next month, to defend the Group 1 Lion City Cup (1200m) on 28 July.

“He (Lim’s Kosciuszko) would race tomorrow if he could,” laughed Meagher about the two-time (2022/23) Singapore Horse of the Year.

“He doesn’t like time off, but we will run him fresh into the Lion City Cup.

“Then two weeks into the (Group 1) Raffles Cup (1600m on 11 August), the (Group 1) Queen Elizabeth Cup (1800m on 7 September) and the (Group 1) Singapore Gold Cup (2000m on 5 October).

“Only four more runs!”
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