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Nova Vocal up to the task

Peters reckons his horse will run well on Sunday

Trainer James Peters reckons Nationality will be the biggest hurdle for Nova Vocal to overcome on Sunday.

Both horses are involved in Race 5, with Nationality drawn four and Nova Vocal drawn 11 in that 1,100m sprint.

Still, Peters is of the opinion that his talented Irish-bred three-year-old will be up to the task.

And there will be plenty who will agree.

After all, the son of Vocalised certainly gave the English trainer enough reason to believe he was back to his best after winning a barrier trial last Thursday, romping in by just under four lengths, accounting for a field that included champion sprinter Lim's Cruiser, who finished third.

As for racegoers, they still remember Nova Vocal as being "better than the average horse" when he put together two wins on the Polytrack earlier this season.

Those showings helped propel him into Singapore Three-Year-Old Challenge picture where he was seen as the testing material in the last Leg, the Group 1 Singapore Guineas over 1,600m in May.

But things didn't turn out the way his connections had hoped for.

LOST THE PLOT

Ridden by Hong Kong jockey Karis Teetan, Nova Vocal completely lost the plot from the 1,300m after he copped a check, suddenly falling away from the pack before subsequently tailing off badly to run a long last to the winner Mr Clint.

Not surprising, after such an out-of-character run, there was a lot of soul-searching and Peters decided he had no choice but to put him away for three months.

Back from the break, Nova Vocal's first-up run in a Class 3 race over 1,100m was encouraging. He finished third but, next time out on Sept 23 he again failed to frank that form, finishing out of the placings in that race won by Silkino.

"He had a few little issues after his run in the Guineas and took a while to settle down," said Peters.

"And in his last outing, he bombed the start and dropped back in the field.

"He then got checked in the straight. He has since improved but he's meeting a strong field on Sunday, with Nationality the horse to beat."

However, Peters is banking on the light load of 52kgs on his back making the difference. "He's only a lightly-raced horse with some upside. He seems to be improving, and he has a light weight on his back," said Peters.

"I think he's a horse who can progress through his grades, but let's see how he handles it in Class 3 first and we'll then work out where he goes from there."

HORSE RACING