Racing

Home roar to a double

Trainer Peters wins with Ma Bao Bao and Skywalk while under Stay Home Notice

Work-from-home trainer James Peters and his girlfriend Nicola must have startled their neighbours to literally reach out for the telephone to call the police.

That was last Friday night, when they shouted themselves hoarse for their horses in action at the Singapore Racecourse at Kranji.

Two of his runners, Ma Bao Bao and Skywalk, won their races in the fourth and seventh events respectively.

Ma Bao Bao just got up in a thrilling finish to win by a nose in the $30,000 Class 5 Div 2 race over the Polytrack 1,200m with S John astride.

Skywalk, too, was engaged in an exciting duel, which saw him beat Star Of Jupiter by just a head in the $100,000 Class 1 event over the same Poly 1,200m trip. Jockey Michael Rodd was aboard.

Peters' Black Jade (Race 5) and Arc Triumph (Race 8) finished sixth and ninth respectively. His other entry, Race 6 first emergency acceptor Overcoming, did not secure a start.

Peters and Nicola had to watch the races from home as they were serving the mandatory 14-day Stay Home Notice (SHN) under the government's measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus. They had been to England for a holiday.

Peters also missed the March 27 meeting, in which his team came home empty-handed.

His self-isolation time ended the day after his double.

Peters had been "telecommuting" with his stable staff from home during his SHN period.

"It's great for my staff as they've had to work overtime in the last couple of weeks," said the boyish Englishman.

"The first winner is an in-and-out performer. He can run well and run badly the next time. But he's just a Class 5 horse, that was the right race for him, and John also rode him well.

"He had him in a handier spot than at his recent runs. It's good for the owner (Ma Peicheng Stable) as they've been very patient with this horse.

"As for Skywalk, like I've said before, it's hard for him to win races as his rating is so high in the handicap.

"He always tries his best and credit should go to Michael for tonight's win.

"I rang him this morning and told him I'd leave it to him. He had an awkward gate (9), but Michael quickly had him up on the early strong pace.

"He was in the right spot and he's such an ultra-tough horse when he's under pressure."

Upon dispatch, the favourite My Dreamliner (Ruan Maia) shot straight to the front as half-expected, but gave up rather meekly when Skywalk, who had stridden up to his girth from the get-go, loomed upsides at the point of the turn.

The Battle Paint six-year-old kicked clear. He looked to be peaking on his run in the concluding stages, but held on bravely to fend off the fast-finishing Star Of Jupiter (apprentice jockey Shafrizal Saleh) by a head. Muraahib (A'Isisuhairi Kasim) ran third, 11/4 lengths away.

Skywalk recorded the winning time of 1min 11.34sec.

The prolific moneyspinner has now racked up close to $700,000 in stakes earnings for China Horse Club.

As for Ma Bao Bao, the four-year-old by Manhattan Rain was bringing up his first win cheque that has boosted his previous earnings from one second and one third past the $25,000 mark for his connections.

HORSE RACING