| Dual Lion City Cup winner Lim’s Cruiser is being aimed at a possible tilt at the Hong Kong riches in December. The six-year-old son of Casino Prince has been entered for the HK$18.5 million ($3.2 million) Group 1 Longines Hong Kong Sprint (1200m) at Sha Tin on December 9.
Trainer Stephen Gray, who has travelled to England (Emperor Max) and Dubai (Bahana and Newlands) in the past but not Hong Kong, said the lightly-raced seven-time winner deserved a shot on the global stage.
“There is nothing for him here. If he is accepted, we’ll go through it,” said the Kiwi handler as he watched Lim’s Cruiser during a casual spin that saw him take a narrow second to Star Emperor at his first barrier trial since his second consecutive Group 1 Lion City Cup (1200m) triumph in May.
“He actually hurt himself after his last win. He did his joints and that’s why he’s been away for so long.
“He’s okay now. He trialled in good order this morning.”
Ridden by his 2018 Lion City Cup winning partner Glen Boss (Danny Beasley was aboard in the 2017 Lion City Cup), Lim’s Cruiser ambled to the front and was never clicked up for another gear, ‘cruising’ to the line, never out of second gear, beaten narrowly by Star Emperor (John Sundradas) who had snuck out on his inside late to score by a short head on the line.
Gray said that no decision has yet been made on the rider’s booking should Lim’s Cruiser get the nod for Hong Kong.
“No jockey has been booked. Mr Lim (Siah Mong, owner of Lim’s Stable) and Mick Dittman (racing manager) haven’t decided on that yet,” said Gray.
“He will run in one race here first. It’s a Kranji Stakes A race over 1200m on a Tuesday in November (20).
“If he goes to Hong Kong, he will go there fresh and not tired, which is a good thing.”
Dittman, who was on hand at Tuesday’s barrier trial, couldn’t be happier with the way the 2017 Singapore champion sprinter has come through his layoff.
“He enjoyed himself out there this morning and seems to have come back bigger and stronger,” said the former top Australian jockey known as “The Enforcer”.
“The Hong Kong Sprint is worth a crack. The horse has done pretty well for us here, he’s paid his way, and Mr Lim would love going to Hong Kong with a horse.”
With more than $1.6 million in stakes earnings in only 17 starts, Lim’s Cruiser has certainly more than earned his oats for the Lim’s Stable, figuring with Top Spin, Lim’s Objective and Lim’s Classic among the topline horses to have raced for the multiple-champion owner.