Sydney trainer Joe Pride is gearing up for an assault on the 2012 Melbourne Spring Carnival sprints with stable stars Rain Affair and Tiger Tees.
Both noted front runners, Pride is predicting big things for the pair who will have different targets at the Melbourne Spring Carnival.
A winner of 11 of 15 starts, Rain Affair will chase his first Group 1 title in the Manikato Stakes (1200m) after a series of lead-up runs in Sydney.
“At this stage he’ll probably have three runs before he goes down there,” Pride said.
With Black Caviar ruled out of the spring, Pride is also toying with the idea of entering Rain Affair in the $1 million Patinack Farm Classic at Flemington in November but is hesitant to commit after he struggled on the straight in this year’s Newmarket Handicap.
“I’m a little bit reluctant to send him down the straight again after his run in the Newmarket,” Pride said.
The Commands gelding finished 2 ½ lengths behind winner Hay List when sixth in the $1 million sprint in March.
Tiger Tees will join Rain Affair in Melbourne and Pride is hoping he can avoid a clash between his star sprinters.
“Tiger Tees is progressing really well, he’s only come off a short spell after the Stradbroke,” Pride said.
“I’m toying and playing around with his program, trying to avoid a clash with Rain Affair.
“They may have to meet once but that would be about it.”
Tiger Tees finished eighth in the Stradbroke Handicap at Brisbane Winter Carnival after previously winning the Listed Hall Mark Stakes at Randwick and the Group 3 BRC Sprint.
A winner of eight of 12 starts, the successful gelding has gained a reputation for toughness and being able to hang on at the back end of races.
Also racing for Pride this spring is multiple stakes winner Title who will resume on Saturday in the Group 3 Missile Stakes at Warwick Farm.
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