Jockey Christian Reith get his chance to shine in the limelight of the Sydney Autumn Carnival when he hops aboard Rain Affair in the Group 1 $400,000 Ticketek All Aged Stakes (1400m) at Randwick tomorrow.
Reith replaces the suspended Corey Brown on Rain Affair and is not ready to concede to unbeaten glamour three year old Atlantic Jewel in the weight for age contest.
“Obviously she is hard to ignore, she is something out of the box, but my fellow is racing very good,” Reith said.
“He’s a high cruising speed kind of a horse and the more you fight him the worse he is, he’s shown that previously.”
“If I can get him into a good rhythm, and as relaxed as possible, he’s not going to disgrace himself is he?.”
“He’ll be there for a long time and hopefully it is long enough.”
Reith has worked hard to be recognised among the top jockeys riding in Sydney and doesn’t take it for granted to be competing against the top riders and horses during one of the major racing carnivals in the country.
He has had to overcome some well documented personal problems and has travelled the long tough road to get his career back to where it is today, riding plenty of winners for top trainers and has mounts in three of the four Group one races at Randwick tomorrow.
The thirty-two year old will also be aboard the Paul Messara trained Rowe in the $400,000 Moet & Chandon Champagne Stakes (1600m) and Our Serena for David Payne in the $500,000 Schweppes Sydney Cup (3200m).
Now Reith has a real possibility of riding his first Group 1 winner after trainer Joe Pride had no hesitation in booking him for Rain Affair when Brown was forced onto the sidelines through suspension.
“I’m just rapt to be able to fill in for Corey and rapt at the faith that Don Storey and Joe have shown in me to give me the chance to ride him in the race.”
Reith is no stranger to the free running four year old, scoring on him at Canterbury in May last year and sees some positives coming up against Atlantic Jewel who is facing weight for age for the time.
“I’ve won on him before, I know the horse,” Reith said.
“It stunned everyone when you had a ten furlong horse running 1.08s first up, it’s pretty impressive. She’s playing with the big boys now and it is going to be a test for her but I know my bloke is up to task.”
“If we can make it a true race she might knock up.”
Rain Affair is rock hard in condition after a tough campaign but connections were hoping for some more wet weather which is not likely according to weather forecast, with Randwick rated a dead 4 today.
The Commands four year old returned from a hard run in the Group 1 $1m Lexus Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on March 10 to take out the Group 2 $175,000 Parramatta Leagues Club Challenge Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill on March 31.
Then he took up his usual position in front with Brown and was overwhelmed in the last few strides by Master Of Design in the Group 1 $1m Darley T J Smith (1200m) at Randwick two weeks ago.
Rain Affair is currently second favourite at $6 behind the filly Atlantic Jewel who is at the short odds of $1.22 with the New Zealand warhorse King Mufhasa next in the line of betting at $8.50