The scratching of Rain Affair from the Group 2 $200,000 Bowermans Office Furniture Shorts (1200m) at Randwick today has thrown the whole structure of the race upside down.
As well as Rain Affair being the natural leader and dictate the race, the Joe Pride trained gelding will have to be replaced at the head of the market order.
Manawanui, Nobby Snip and Emotional Circus have the job of battling out the top spot, with the three hovering around the $6 mark.
Rain Affair was a race morning scratching with Pride deciding to leave the five year old home when the Warwick Farm trainer wasn’t one hundred per cent happy with him this morning.
The top sprinter disappointed first up when $1.50 favourite and could only struggle into fourth behind stablemate Tiger Tees in the Group 3 $125,000 Concorde Stakes (1100m) at Warwick Farm on September 8 with Pride putting the uncharacteristic run down to the hard surface on the day.
“The horse pulled up a bit stiff and sore, he didn’t handle the track that well, “Pride said after Rain Affair Warwick Farm fourth.
The Jason Coyle trained Emotional Circus has come in for plenty of support and could easily start the clear cut favourite if the four year old continues to attract more backing on track.
Top jockey Glen Schofield is expecting a forward showing from Manawanui who is resuming after a disappointing Autumn when he failed to win three starts as favourite.
Schofield will have to find a good spot to slot Manawanui in from barrier twelve and with Rain Affair out, the pace of the race might not be as genuine as if he were there.
Trainer Ron Leemon says that he is happy with the progress of Manawanui after he had to pause his preparation after the four year old went off his tucker after an exhibition gallop at Warwick Farm several weeks ago.
But Manawanui pleased Leemon with a solid barrier trial when second over 800m at Warwick Farm on September 14 and will restrict him to a sprinting campaign during the Spring.
“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.”
Gai Waterhouse is playing up the chances of Nobby Snip in the Shorts after scratching the four year old from the Concorde Stakes two weeks ago.
“I didn’t think he was quite fit enough and I wasn’t one hundred per cent happy with his condition and his coat,” Waterhouse said.
“So I thought I would give him another two weeks I could get him right and he is right.”
“He’s a most unassuming horse, he’s very honest, he rolls up the sleeves and gets on with the job.”