Experienced sprinter Atomic Force will have the second start of his spring campaign this weekend when he lines up in the Group 3 2012 Concorde Stakes (1100m) at Warwick Farm.
The Darren Smith-trained gelding ran fourth in the Listed Carlyon Stakes (1000m) at Moonee Valley on August 25 in what was his first race since competing at Group 1 level in New Zealand in January.
Despite struggling during the early stages of the first-up race, Atomic Force hit the line well to suggest he can still be competitive in quality races this spring.
“He probably hit a flat spot getting through the 600-700 at the Valley but when he straightened up and got balance he hit the line strong,” Smith said.
Helping the son of Danehill Dancer chase his first victory of the new racing season is star Sydney jockey Nash Rawiller.
“Nash is going to jump back on and a good strong rider will get him going,” Smith said.
Rawiller was on board for the New Zealand campaign in the summer where Atomic Force won the Group 1 Railway Stakes and finished second in the Group 1 Telegraph Handicap.
But Smith is well aware that it will be no easy task on Saturday with a strong 15-horse nominations list yesterday named for the feature sprint.
“He’s got to bring his game on Saturday,” he said.
Among the top Concorde Stakes chances are Joe Pride-trained sprinters Rain Affair and Tiger Tees who will both ensure there is plenty of speed early in the race.
Rain Affair will be aimed at the Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) in late October and is still chasing a top tier title after finishing runner-up in both the TJ Smith Stakes and the All Aged Stakes during the autumn.
For the best Concorde Stakes betting check bookmaker.com.au later this week which is the preferred bookie of Races.com.au.
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