Despite facing up to 10 previous Group 1 winners on Saturday, local Warwick Farm trainer Joe Pride is confident his in-form flyer Rain Affair has what it takes to be crowned the 2013 Warwick Stakes winner.
A total of 19 early entries were taken for this year’s edition of the $175,000 Group 2 Warwick Stakes (1400m), 10 of which have already bagged a Group 1 trophy and nine of which come from the stables of top Sydney trainer Chris Waller.
The competition is certainly going to be fierce in this Sydney Spring Racing Carnival lead-up especially from Waller’s contingent which includes four-time Group 1 hero Shoot Out.
It may be a stellar line-up for the Warwick Stakes but Pride is rating his single entry Rain Affair the one to beat.
While for the majority of the nominees Saturday’s event is about getting prepped for some of the season’s upcoming majors in both Sydney and Melbourne including the Cox Plate and Caulfield and Melbourne Cups, Rain Affair isn’t likely to race on that long.
Pride is looking at a short, sharp spring for his Commands six-year-old who raced first-up at Randwick on August 10.
The four-time Group 1 runner-up kicked off their campaign in fine style too winning the Group 3 Missile Stakes (1200m) by a blistering five and a half lengths.
They’ll look to make it back-to-back wins this weekend and there’s plenty working in their favour according to Pride.
“I couldn’t be happier with Rain Affair, he’s in good order and come through his first run really well,” Pride said to The Daily Telegraph this week.
“The reason I brought him back after Brisbane and only gave him a month off was because I knew I’d have a head-start on everybody else in the Warwick Stakes.
“This race historically is where a lot of good horses start their preparations.
“I’m assuming all these horses there on Saturday will be aiming at something further down the track.
“For my bloke, Saturday and his next couple of races are all grand finals.”
The 2013 Warwick Stakes final field and barrier draw is due are due for release on Wednesday and will be published right here at Races.com.au so stay tuned.
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