Top Sydney jockey Corey Brown can’t wait to take on the super sprinter Hay List with Rain Affair after a gutsy win the Group 2 $175,000 Parramatta Leagues Club Challenge Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill today.
Brown sent out the challenge when Rain Affair returned to winning form after a disappointing trip to Melbourne when sixth to Hay List in the Group 1 $1m Lexus Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on March 10.
Trainer Joe Pride is eyeing off the Group 1 $1m T J Smith (1200m) at Randwick in two weeks and a rematch with Hay list will be a highlight of the Autumn Carnival.
Brown was quick to praise the skills of Pride and his stable staff to get Rain Affair back to his best after a tough trip away.
“Joey and the staff have done a super job. He stepped out at 1400m a few weeks ago and then going down over the hardest six furlong race in Australia then coming back to eleven hundred,” Brown said.
“He appreciates going around a turn. He didn’t know where he was going down the straight at Flemington. “
“Winter King was serving it up me early and I just had to persevere and try and hold him together.”
Michael Walker on Winter King went with Rain Affair in the early stages of the race but Brown was able to keep $1.85 favourite balanced and coming to the home turn let him stride to the lead.
Rain Affair lengthened stride at the 200m out in the middle of the track and held off a late charge of by Satin Shoes and stable mate Neeson to score by half a length.
Pride is looking to step Rain Affair up to the 1200m now and is hoping for some rain leading up to the T J Smith.
“I think he is more effective on wet track this horse. It gives him an advantage, he seems to be able to get away from his opposition.
“I’ve been a little soft on him since he came back Melbourne,” Pride said.
“He might have been a little soft for the run today, there’s a race in two weeks time, the TJ, that I’ve got him primed for and I think we will see him at his best on that day and it’s nice to get away with it today.”
Today’s win was Rain Affair’s eleventh from thirteen starts and showed his liking for Rosehill.