Trainer Alwin Tan has suggested that the 2015 Cox Plate could be on the agenda for champion Singapore-based galloper War Affair after he took out the Group 1 Patron’s Bowl (1600m) in Singapore overnight.
War Affair was caught wide in the early stages of the race while former Gai Waterhouse-trained Order Of the Sun took up the running, but the son of O’Reilly showed his trademark turn-of-foot when he was asked for an extra effort by jockey Alan Munro to record his fifth victory at the highest level of racing.
Tan was delighted with the performance of War Affair in the Patron’s Bowl and he confirmed that the four-year-old was on track to contest the Group 1 Singapore Derby (2000m) at Kranji before he added that the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) was the one international race that he had his eye on for the talented gelding.
“I’m just so proud of him,” Tan said.
“He is the best horse here and he always knows what he is doing.
“This was a better win than over 1400m (in the Stewards’ Cup) and he’s definitely better over the mile.
“The plan was to wait a little longer this time as it’s over 1600m and it’s paid off.
“Alan knows this horse very well now and rode another perfect race on him.
“We prepped him well for this race, I backed him off after the first week and started increasing his workload in the second week.
“The Derby is on target, but the distance will be another challenge as he’s never gone over such a long distance before, even if he’s run over 2200m once.
“I have not really thought of any race, but a race like the Cox Plate could be something to consider.”
War Affair made his racing debut with a fourth place finish in April of 2013 with a fourth place finish in the Magic Millions Mr Big Stakes (1200m) and he scored his maiden win in the Inglis Sydney Juvenile Stakes (1200m) on May 3 before he claimed a maiden win at Group level when he took out the Group 2 Golden Horseshoe (1200m) a fortnight later.
He continued his winning streak with four more victories, but he was beaten by Super Ninety Seven when he made his Group 1 debut in the Raffles Cup (1800m) in October of 2013.
War Affair returned to winning form with victories in the Group 3 Singapore Three-Year-Old Sprint (1200m) in March of last year and the Group 2 Singapore THR Classic (1400m) before he claimed a maiden Group 1 victory with a dominant effort in the Group 1 Singapore Guineas (1600m).
The star galloper started his spring campaign last year with a second place finish in the Group 3 Committee’s Prize (1600m), but he went on to win the Group 1 Kranji Mile (1600m) and the Group 1 Raffles Cup (1800m) before he failed to run out the trip in the Group 1 Singapore Gold Cup (2200m).
War Affair returned to racing with a fast-finishing victory in the Group 1 Lion City Cup (1200m) on April 26 and he took out the Group 2 Stewards’ Cup (1400m) on May 31 before his Patron’s Bowl victory overnight.