Like most, trainer James Peters knows Kranji’s next big thing Inferno is hard to topple in tomorrow’s $400,000 Group 1 Lion City Cup over 1,200m.
But the Englishman is also aware his two runners, Skywalk and Grand Koonta, are “live” chances in Singapore’s top sprint.
After all, nine-time winner Skywalk is the highest-rated contender in the 16-horse line-up.
The big-hearted grey Grand Koonta has five wins, including his last start after an eight-month break on Sept 26, and four seconds from nine starts.
“Both horses are well. They trialled last week and have come through that fine,” said Peters, who is enjoying a good season with 19 winners.
“I would say Grand Koonta has improved since his first-up win. He was then up in body weight, he had only some soft trials and has tightened up since.
“I thought Skywalk also ran very well in that race Grand Koonta won. He was beaten only around three lengths and he was carrying the top weight.
“He’ll be back at level weights this time. Sure, he’s probably better on Polytrack, but he’s the top-rated horse in the field.”
South African Ryan Munger, who was beaten at the post in the $400,000 Group 1 Raffles Cup on Sun Marshal a fortnight ago, will ride Skywalk.
Frenchman Louis-Philippe Beuzelin will be aboard Grand Koonta.
For Peters, if his two aces can bring their A game to the race tomorrow, they should be in with a shout at the business end, regardless of the daunting presence of the Cliff Brown-trained Inferno.
Peters admitted Inferno has been very impressive in what he has done, but the seven-time winner from eight starts is coming back from his Group 1 Singapore Guineas victory over 1,600m to 1,200m tomorrow.
“You can’t knock him, but he’s jumping back from the mile and he will be running against more seasoned sprinters,” said Peters.
“The 1,200m might just make it a little harder for him. We’ll see, but he’s still a very good horse.
“To me, it’s just so exciting to have two ‘live’ chances in a Group 1 race. We don’t get that often.”