Rain Affair produced the most impressive performance in the exciting set of barrier trials this morning, taking advantage of his trademark speed to record an nine length romp in the fourth event of the day over 800 metres.
The Joseph Pride-trained sprinter pinged out of the gates and quickly raced away from the rest of the field to finish in a time of 47.2 seconds – more than a second faster than Kuroshio who won the previous trial over 800 metres.
Sidestep and Catkins rounded out the placings while Group 1 winning mare Norzita was given a quiet trial and finished midfield.
Rain Affair, along with fellow sprinter Buffering, is arguably the best horse in Australia that is yet to record a victory at Group 1 level, having finished second at the highest level of racing on four occasions.
The Commands gelding was an unlucky second behind Master Of Design in the 2012 T.J. Smith Stakes (1200m) and gave wonder mare Atlantic Jewel a serious race in the All Aged Stakes (1400m) a fortnight later.
In the 2013 All Aged Stakes (1400m) he once again ran into an equine superstar, finishing second behind All Too Hard, and was denied by a career best performance from classy colt Your Song in the BTC Cup (1200m) in May.
The six-year-old is set to resume in the Group 3 Missile Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on August 10 and Pride is hopeful that this can finally be the campaign Rain Affair, along with stablemate Tiger Tees, breaks through for a Group 1 victory.
“Those two are knocking on the door and with the retirement of so many of our good sprinters, I can see one or both of them winning a big race,” Pride told AAP.
Rain Affair appears likely to travel to Melbourne, during the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival, for the first time since finishing sixth in the 2012 Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m).