Trainer Joe Pride is anxiously awaiting for the early morning showers forecasted to sweep across Randwick tomorrow and provide a soft surface to help his smart sprinter Rain Affair bounce back to winning form.
Rain Affair put in his worst Sydney run when fourth to stable mate Tiger Tees in the Group 3 $125,000 Concorde Stakes (1100m) at Warwick Farm on September 8 on a track that was clearly too hard for the five year old.
“The horse pulled up a bit stiff and sore, he didn’t handle the track that well, “Pride said.
Nine of Rain Affair’s eleven wins have been on a dead track or softer and if the showers arrive Randwick is certain to remain at Friday’s rating of a dead 4.
“All his form has been on soft ground, I know he has a couple of Group 1 placings on the good but to me his best performances are on wet tracks and I’m looking to get back on one,” Pride said.
“His coat has cleaned up a fair bit and he’ll parade in better order on Saturday.”
Pride is hoping Rain Affair’s legion of followers stick with him at Randwick tomorrow after failing to deliver when the $1.50 favourite at Warwick Farm.
“He’s thrown in at the weights and it is a nice opportunity for him to bounce back,” Pride said.
“He did cop a fair bit of bad press which I thought was pretty average considering his record.”
“He’s a good horse in his own right, he’s won eleven races from sixteen starts. What more do you want.”
The Shorts see the reappearance of last year’s Golden Rose winner Manawanui who struggled to find his best form earlier in the year during the Autumn Carnival.
The Ron Leemon trained four year old disappointed in the Autumn and after failing to win as favourite from three starts, the latest a fifth to Mosheen in the Group 1 $500,000 Turnpoint Royal Randwick Guineas (1600m) at Randwick on March 17, the Warwick Farm mentor sent Manawanui to the paddock.
But Leemon’s trouble didn’t stop there with the four year old going off his feed after an exhibition gallop at Warwick Farm during this preparation, forcing Leemon to delay his Spring appearance and restricting him to a sprinting campaign.
“I am happy with him. He’ll go to the Shorts and then the Premiere Stakes on Epsom day,” Leemon said.
“We’ll be keeping him to the sprints this preparation and I think he can be very effective over those trips.”
Pre-post markets sees Rain Affair head the Shorts at $3.60 in front of the Gai Waterhouse trained Nobby Snip at $6.50 with Emotional Circus at $8.50 just ahead of Manawanui and Pampelonne at $9.