The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
After coming through their upset success in the Takeover Target Stakes last Friday, Joe Pride’s emerging galloper Title has been confirmed as a starter in the Civic Stakes at Rosehill this Saturday.
Honours List four-year-old Title claimed a massive boilover in this year’s $100,000 Listed Takeover Target Stakes (1200m) when storming home to an impressive two and a half length win in the Gosford showdown over Jest Crewsin’.
“The horse was really explosive at Gosford,” Pride said.
“I thought he would run well but he surprised me with what he did, and being that dominant.
“If you watched the race and knew there was a $1.30 pop (Squamosa) in the race, you would have sworn it was Title.”
Having proven their potential as a black-type winner, Title will now get the chance to secure their third race win on the trot when they line-up in the $100,000 Listed Civic Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill on Saturday.
“He seems to have come through the race well so I’d say he’ll be at Rosehill next Saturday for the Civic Stakes,” Pride said.
“I can’t see any reason why he won’t be there at this stage.
“The Civic Stakes was always the original plan, I just didn’t expect to win on Friday.
“But that was great.”
One of 16 nominees for this year’s Civic Stakes, Title is looking to add another black-type to their name before following in the footsteps of the great Takeover Target by running in the $130,000 WHK Ramornie Handicap (1200m) back in Grafton on July 13.
There is just one other last-start winner entered for the 2011 Civic Stakes in the Chris Waller-trained Little Surfer Girl, the Encosta De Lago mare saluting in a 1350m Handicap at Rosehill last Saturday.
Waller boasts the largest number of Civic Stakes hopefuls having also entered Danehill Dancer five-year-old Altered Boy and resuming galloper Gigino who won three races successively at Rosehill last spring before being sent for a spell.
Other notable entries include the Guy Walter-trained Galileo mare Foxstar, consistent Canberra raider OnThelookout and Tracey Bartley’s former Stradbroke Handicap winner Sniper’s Bullet.
Along with Title, Warwick Farm horseman Pride has four other runners from his stable nominated in the Rosehill races this Saturday.
The horse he is most looking forward to saddling up, however, is Rain Affair who will run in a Benchmark 95 Handicap over 1100m.
A three-year-old son of Commands, Rain Affair has proven to be the picture of consistency over their short five race career to date that has produced four wins and one second.
“Rain Affair is a very speedy horse and has shown a lot of ability so far,” Pride said.
Saturday will be the exciting galloper’s debut appearance at Rosehill and Pride holds high hopes Rain Affair will bring the same blistering form to The Gardens that he has shown elsewhere.
Seeking their fourth consecutive victory, Rain Affair annihilated their rivals by six lengths in a 1000m Warwick Farm sprint on March 23 despite having raced very greenly.
Next start they won by the same scintillating six length margin at Randwick on Anzac Day before making it a treble on the trot with a three length success over 1100m at Canterbury on May 7.
Despite the hype, Pride isn’t getting too far ahead of himself just yet and will wait to see how Rain Affair handles their first Rosehill assignment before looking towards a spring carnival campaign.
“I don’t want to get too carried away predicting where he might end up but he does look a nice horse,” he said.
“The test for these sort of horses comes from this point on when he has to take on better class gallopers.
“After looking at the nominations, Saturday’s race looks a nice entry into this sort of grade.”
Pride has confirmed Melbourne Cup-winning jockey Corey Brown will take the mount on Rain Affair for Saturday’s showdown having partnered with the horse for three of their earlier career runs.
“The next question with him (Rain Affair) is whether he will run beyond 1100 metres,” Pride said.
“I think he will but you don’t get that answer until they are tried at a longer trip.”
Rain Affair will take on the likes of Takeover Target Stakes runner-up Jest Crewsin’ and the Chris Waller-trained Redoute’s Choice four-year-old Sikka on Saturday.
It has been a career-best season for Pride who is just two wins away from having trainer a half-century of winners in Sydney and who has already amassed close to $4 million in prize money for the season.
With 50 victories Pride will finish in the top four of the Sydney Trainers Premiership, set to be taken out by Chris Waller, which is a huge achievement for the horseman who has only around 40 horses in work.
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