Skywalk's back in the groove
Sparingly raced, he trials like a winner on Tuesday
Remember Skywalk? I say "remember" because he has been MIA for the better part of the season.
Indeed, he has had just two outings in 2019, the last one being in May when he spanked a Class 1 field over the 1,100m on the Polytrack.
I say, spanked, because in winning that sprint he bettered Filibuster's record of 1:04.16sec by 0.07sec.
And, to think he had just come out of a five-month "hibernation" when he won that race.
Then, just like that, Skywalk did a "Houdini". He disappeared from the scene - only to resurface on Tuesday in the third and final trial of the morning.
Anyway, that went brilliantly.
Ridden by Daniel Moor - who is no stranger to the six-year-old, having won on him way back in December of 2017 - Skywalk cleared the gates with the least of fuss but soon after, he surrendered the lead to Autumn Rush who made the running into the home stretch.
Simon Kok, on the 90-point rater, dictated things until the final 200m when Skywalk fashioned a challenge.
In a flash, they were neck and neck but, in the closing stages Skywalk produced that little extra to take the honours with three parts of a length to spare.
Autumn Rush lost no marks - but it was all about Skywalk.
From being absent for almost six months, he had worked home strongly on the back of a fast tempo set by Autumn Rush and, when asked for an effort by Moor, he didn't fluff his lines.
He went to the line strongly, in the process clocking a super time of 59.67sec for the sprint.
With Skywalk having so far banked in $575,000 for the China Horse Club Stable, it could be said that trainer James Peters has been ultra-patient with his charge.
Then again, this could just be the way Skywalk likes it.
After all, he won his last race when racing fresh and, if you're to go back even further, you'll see that he won on debut. That was in July 2016 and it came right after he had won a trial some eight days earlier.
We're not privy to Peters' plans for the present, but it could pay to follow Skywalk the next time he goes to the races.
In an earlier trial, Black Jade took the lead at the 700m mark and, just like that, he had the trial all neatly sewn up.
He would coast in, 5½ lengths clear of Benn Gunn - who was having a 1,000m barrier test - with Smash a further head away in third.
Black Jade, having a practice gallop, didn't break any speed records but Moor and Peters would have been satisfied with the 62.32sec it took for his to complete the 1,000m.
Black Jade was a winner over the mile in September before being completely outclassed in the Queen Elizabeth II Cup a month later.
Forget that run. He was out of his depth. But remember him when he tackles something easier.
Tuesday's Kranji barrier trial results
TRIAL 1 (ORT)
1 Win Win (Y Salim)
2 Wonosobo (N Zyrul)
3 Harvest Time (M Zaki)
4 Majulah (K A'Isisuhairi)
Margins and time: 2¼, ½, 14 (1min 2.31sec)
1 Black Jade (D Moor)
2 Ben Gunn (TH Koh)
3 Smash (I Azhar)
4 Spirit Of D'Wind
5 Come And Take All (I Saifudin)
Margins and time: 5½, hd, ½, 5¼ (1:02.32)
1 Skywalk (Moor)
2 Autumn Rush (WH Kok)
3 Yulong Green (T Krisna)
4 Sacred Rebel (R Zawari)
Margins and time: ¾, 2, 7½, 3½ (59.67)