Rain Affair in a race of his own
The script was written but trainer Joe Pride was still relieved to see Rain Affair play his part to perfection with a dominant win in the Group Three Missile Stakes at Randwick.
The front-running sprinter hadn’t won a race for 17 months until Saturday but with things made to order with a small field and slow track, punters had no qualms sending him out the $1.30 favourite.
With Nash Rawiller having his first ride aboard Rain Affair after partnering him to a recent barrier trial win, the gelding went straight to the lead and dictated the race.
He stretched out in the straight to put 5-1/2 lengths on Mic Mac who didn’t appreciate the soft going.
“It’s fantastic to see him win again,” Pride said.
“He came here in good order. He is such an exciting horse and I know he is going to win a Group One.”
Just what that Group One could be is still a matter for conjecture.
Rain Affair will step up from the 1200m of the Missile to the 1400m of the Warwick Stakes next start.
“After that we’ll look at the Chelmsford over 1600 metres and if he handles that, then the Group One will be the George Main Stakes,” Pride said.
“If he doesn’t look as if he will get the distance then we will come back and get him ready for the Manikato Stakes over the 1200 metres.
“They are extremes, I know, but I think he can run a mile and if he can the George Main would be ideal.”
Rain Affair has run Group One seconds over the 1400 metres of the All Aged Stakes for the past two years, behind the unbeaten Atlantic Jewel in 2012 and All Too Hard earlier this year but he has not been extended beyond that distance.
Rawiller said Rain Affair surprised him a little by how fresh he was but not by how well he won.
“He is a magnificent horse,” he said.
“It’s a while since he’s won but the horses he’s been placed behind are pretty amazing.
“He raced a bit fresh and is an extravagant going sort of horse but he’s very good.”
The race was robbed of some of its star power by the withdrawal of Hay List when the track remained slow.