Joe Pride’s classy six-year-old Rain Affair has opened in the red to win their opening spring assignment in the Missile Stakes 2013 at Royal Randwick this weekend.
The Commands gelding has been making the new season headlines since blitzing their 800m Randwick trial on August 2 with a nine and a half length winning effort.
They will now look to transfer that to a first-up win in the $125,000 Group 3 Missile Stakes (1200m) on Saturday.
If successful it will be the horse’s second win in the early spring showdown having also won the 2011 Missile Stakes at the end of a six-straight winning streak two years ago.
It’s been a while between drinks for the $1.3 million earner however with their last winning effort being in the Group 2 Challenge Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill in March last year.
Rain Affair also blew their most recent run during the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival in May when beating home just one other runner to finish 11.5 lengths away 14th to Epaulette in the Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (1350m).
That said they certainly looked to be back to their best with their scintillating hit-out the other week.
The bookies agree and have installed Rain Affair as the $1.70 favourite in the bookmaker.com.au as they prepare to take on a field of seven weight-for-age rivals.
Occupying the second line of Missile Stakes betting is the much-loved veteran Statue Of Liberty eight-year-old Hay List at $4.80.
Early money is coming in for John McNair’s triple Group 1 winner who more than once gave the flawless queen Black Caviar a run for her money in the country’s best sprints.
Still Hay List hasn’t really been at peak fitness since autumn last year, when he won the Newmarket Handicap before finishing second to Foxwedge in the William Reid Stakes.
They’ve had ongoing issues with their feet and knees, and nearly lost their life when suffering a horror infection after being treated for a serious bout of colic.
Whether Hay List will be able to return to their late, great self is a controversial question and one McNair continues to be asked along with the old when will he let the horse retire.
McNair though isn’t giving up hope and while Hay List is far from a confirmed starter, the horseman would love to see him prove the doubters wrong.
“If he does run Saturday, it will definitely improve him,” McNair told The Daily Telegraph.
“I wouldn’t expect him to win, but I wouldn’t be silly enough to say he can’t win. You can never rule out a champion.”
The third and final single-figure chance for the Missile this year is then Mic Mac paying $6 to score their second win in three starts.
Drawn in barrier six, one outside the favourite Rain Affair (5), Mic Mac will be ridden by Christian Reith who was actually aboard Rain Affair for their recent trial success.
Two back the Paul Messara-trained Mic Mac, another State Of Liberty eight-year-old like Hay List, broke a lengthy drought with their brave Civic Stakes success at Rosehill.
Last start 60.5kg got the better of them in the Winter Stakes over 1400m when second to Under The Sun who they earlier beat in the Civic.
Their rejuvenated form and the drop back to weight-for-age (58.5kg) on Saturday makes them a top chance to give Rain Affair some lethal competition especially as they boast the fitness edge.
Others out for an upset Missile Stakes result at longer prices then include Pride’s other runner Title ($16) with the inside running from barrier one, Centennial Park ($17) and this year’s Oakleigh Plate winner Mrs Onassis ($17) looking for her first win over greater than 1100m.
Below are the latest fixed win prices on the Missile Stakes field courtesy of the country’s premier online betting agency bookmaker.com.au.
So get behind your favourites this weekend by signing up with bookmaker.com.au who will also match your first deposit dollar for dollar as a bonus bet valued up to a generous $500 if you quote the code BONUSBET!
2013 Missile Stakes Odds
Rosehill Race 5 – 2:50pm (AEST) – 10/08/2013
|1||HAY LIST (6)||4.80|
|2||RAIN AFFAIR (5)||1.70|
|3||MIC MAC (6)||6.00|
|4||ATOMIC FORCE (3)||31.00|
|5||CENTENNIAL PARK (7)||17.00|
|7||MY DESTINY (2)||41.00|
|8||MRS ONASSIS (4)||17.00|
*Fixed Win odds provided by bookmaker.com.au and subject to change