Warwick Farm-based trainer Joe Pride is on a Group 1 mission this spring with his talented sprinter Rain Affair after the speedy champion secured a sizzling first-up win in the Missile Stakes 2013 over the weekend.
After a disappointing last start in Brisbane back in May, the now six-year-old Commands gelding was flawless in their win as the odds-on favourite in Saturday’s $125,000 Group 3 McGrath Real Estate Agents Missile Stakes (1200m).
Coming off a brilliant nine and a half length trial win at Royal Randwick, Rain Affair returned to the track for the Missile and relished the Slow (7) conditions to post their first turf triumph in 16 months.
Ridden by Nash Rawiller for the first time since their winning debut at Canterbury back in October of 2010, the horse described as ‘Sydney’s fastest’ was far too good for their rivals.
After a lovely run Rain Affair ($1.30F) eventually had an easy five and a half lengths to spare over Paul Messara’s evergreen veteran Mic Mac ($6.50) with the winner’s stablemate Title ($20) a surprise third a further three lengths away.
The Missile was also to be the return race for triple Group 1 hero Hay List but he was scratched from the event due to the soft track.
Another Group 1 winner Mrs Onassis was also withdrawn leaving a field of just six.
But despite the diminutive field it took nothing away from the winner with Pride convinced this season will finally be Rain Affair’s time to knock back a Group 1 of their own.
“He is going to win a Group 1 for us this horse,” The Sydney Morning Herald reported Pride as saying.
“[Owner] Don [Storey] and I are very keen for it to happen. We just have to find the right race for him.”
They have contested eight previous elite level races over their 23-start career, four of which they have played the bridesmaid running second.
Pride is looking at something during the Sydney Spring Racing Carnival like the $350,000 Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m) back at Randwick on September 21 believing Rain Affair could be capable of winning over more distance.
“I’m not afraid of the mile, I think he will get it,” Pride said.
Rawiller however believes they would be better going straight to Melbourne and take on the sprinters there in the $450,000 Group 1 Moir Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley six days after the George Main.
“He is typical of some of those good sprinters,” the hoop said.
“He tries his heart out every time; he is like a good old football player.
“If the [Moir Stakes] was in three weeks’ time it would be at his mercy.
“It is six weeks so he can go to 1400m and come back for it.”
Whatever is decided by connections it’s been confirmed Rain Affair will race second-up in the $175,000 Group 2 Warwick Stakes (1400m) at Warwick Farm on August 24.
“I’m interested to have a go at 1400m in the Warwick Stakes in a couple weeks and see how he goes,” Pride added.
Check out the full Missile Stakes results below and make sure you stay tuned to Races.com.au for all the latest on Rain Affair next race.
Then to back the speedster at the best odds in the country head over to bookmaker.com.au who are offering the top range of fixed win prices all spring!
2013 Missile Stakes Results & Finishing Order
Randwick Race 5 – 10/08/2013
|1||2||RAIN AFFAIR||Joseph Pride||Nash Rawiller||–||4||58.5kg||$1.30F|
|2||3||MIC MAC||Paul Messara||Christian Reith||5.5L||5||58.5kg||$6.50|
|3||6||TITLE||Joseph Pride||Jay Ford||8.5L||1||58.5kg||$20|
|4||7||MY DESTINY||Kevin Berry||Nathan Berry||9.9L||2||58.5kg||$18|
|5||5||CENTENNIAL PARK (NZ)||David Payne||James McDonald||10.5L||6||58.5kg||$17|
|6||4||ATOMIC FORCE||Darren Smith||Tim Clark||15.4L||3||58.5kg||$31|
|–||8||MRS ONASSIS||Gerald Ryan||Kerrin McEvoy||–||0||–||–|
|–||1||HAY LIST||John McNair||Hugh Bowman||–||0||–||–|