Lim's Lightning transformed with just a run under his belt, as he stepped up on his debut third to bolt home in the third leg of the Singapore Golden Horseshoe Series for two-year-olds yesterday.
The Steven Burridge-trained and Lim's Stable-owned Australian-bred got over his greenness to trample his 13 rivals in the $90,000 IRT Juvenile Stakes over 1,200m at Kranji. He scored by a runaway four lengths and clocked a smart 1min 10sec flat.
Pennywise, winner of the first two of the five legs series, did not take part as trainer Ricardo Le Grange is keeping his charge fresh for the final leg - the $325,000 Group 2 Aushorse Golden Horseshoe over 1,200m on July 13.
Lim's Lightning raced greenly in his debut with Daniel Moor astride in a Novice event over 1,200m on a yielding track on May 26, but ran on well to finish a two-length third behind Eye Guy at three-figure odds.
But, with the marked improvement from his first run, the money was on yesterday, resulting in the horse starting as the $23 second favourite.
Ridden by jockey Ryan Curatolo, who was making a comeback from a five-week rest owing to a right ankle fracture suffered on May 4 when dislodged on the way to the start of a race, Lim's Lightning found himself in a nice position after the jump.
He was in the box-seat third, about two lengths behind joint-leaders Makkem Lad, who was second to Pennywise in the first leg, and newcomer Salamence. Then came trial-winning newcomer Qiji Commander.
Makkem Lad pulled slightly ahead of Salamence from the 700m mark, with Curatolo still waiting patiently behind. Once they straightened, Curatolo got Lim's Lightning to make his run and hit the front 300m out. From there, the race was all over bar the shouting.
Makkem Lad held on for second, half a length ahead of the $19 favourite My Big Boss, who finished third in the second leg.
Burridge and Lim's Stable's racing manager Mick Dittman felt that Lim's Lightning had the ability but was still green, so they decided to put the bay gelding through a run to educate him. To their pleasant surprise, the horse blossomed.
"We just thought he was still quite green and, hopefully, he could run a nice race. But he raced a little better than we thought, you know, the wet track and things like that," said Burridge.
"We knew the experience would do him a world of good. But, when the barrier came out - barrier 13 - well, you just have to throw your hands up in the air and just hope for luck. Ryan rode him very well, he had the luck and the horse showed us his true ability, you know."
Curatolo was pleased when approached to ride Lim's Lightning.
"I watched the replay and I studied the race," said the Frenchman. "Obviously, the horse last time finished third and he didn't have the best trip, you know. But, after the race, he improved a lot. Mr Dittman gave me a good recommendation about this horse.
"He put himself in a good position. I just sat there and relaxed. I made him confortable and then, when I asked him, it was just bye-bye.
"He was still a bit green and, from the race, he'll improve again."
Friday's South Africa results
1st 1 Perfect Peace ($10-$8)
2nd 4 All Night Long ($20)
3rd 7 Chinchilla (No 3rd dividend)
4th 3 Jadeed
Place Forecast Refund
Tierce $447 Trio $16
Quartet No winner ($128 jackpot carried forward to next race)
Scratching: 2 Samurai Dragon
1st 4 Libra ($12-$7)
2nd 7 Close To My Heart ($16)
3rd 1 Damaraland ($8)
4th 8 Bring Me More
Place Forecast (4-7) $16, (1-4) $7, (1-7) $42
Tierce $313 Trio $70
Quartet No winner ($564 carried forward)
1st 1 Young Hopeful ($10-$5.10)
2nd 7 Fifth Of May ($24)
3rd 4 Christmas Cracker ($10)
4th 8 Unexpected View
Place Forecast (1-7) $23, (1-4) $4, (4-7) $49 Tierce $351 Trio $54
Quartet No winner ($2,740 carried forward)
1st 8 Counting Stars ($67-$14)
2nd 2 Final Chance ($37)
3rd 5 Fake News ($18)
4th 1 High Definition
Place Forecast (2-8) $76, (5-8) $23, (2-5) $39
Tierce No winner ($3,300 carried forward) Trio $317
Quartet No winner ($3,834 carried forward)
1st 1 Juan Two Three ($8-$8)
2nd 7 Zip Line ($43)
3rd 8 Dawnbreaker ($8)
4th 2 Omega Onslaught
Place Forecast (1-7) $20, (1-8) $7, (7-8) $75
Tierce $349 Trio $58
1st 2 Zanzibar Beat ($24-$6)
2nd 1 Flying Rock ($7)
3rd 3 Oracle Kingdom ($5.10)
3rd 6 Aviemore ($5.10)
Place Forecast (1-2) $8, (2-3) $3, (2-6) $2.50, (1-3) $3, (1-6) $2.50, (3-6) $2.50
Tierce (2-1-3) $53, (2-1-6) $61
Trio (1-2-3) $11, (1-2-6) $7
Quartet (2-1-3-6) no winner, (2-1-6-3) $136
Scratching: 5 Arcsign
1st 9 Piera ($86-$19)
2nd 1 Hashtagselfie ($8)
3rd 4 No Green Stars ($43)
4th 3 Making Miracles
Place Forecast (1-9) $24, (4-9) $63, (1-4) $35
Tierce No winner ($2,216 carried forward) Trio $518
Quartet No winner ($64 carried forward)
Scratching: 12 St Elmo's Fire
Result of Race 8 was not available at press time. Log on to www.turfclub.com.sg for the results.