Monday, 2 January 2012
: One of this afternoon's feature races, the Listed Tattersalls Carrington Stakes over 1100m at Warwick Farm sees the return to racing by up and coming sprinter Rain Affair.
The highly promising speedster has won seven of his eight career starts including his last six starts and trainer Joe Pride has earmarked some major goals for him this campaign.
But first things first and the time-honoured Carrington Stakes will prove an excellent guide as to just where the Rain Affair
is right now in his preparation before any decision is made on a possible next assignment.
Rain Affair has not raced since winning the G3 Missile Stakes over 1200m at Randwick at the start of the Season where he defeated Winter King in a deceptive finish.
On that occasion, he was at the end of a long campaign and tackling the toughest opposition thus far in his career. After shooting the gates as normal and quickly opening up a handy lead, he began to falter in the straight when tackled.
To his credit he found enough under hard riding from Corey Brown to get the head bob in where it counted – on the post.
The narrow win convinced Pride to send him to the spelling paddock as all his previous wins had been scored with big margins.
Pride has given Rain Affair two barrier trials leading up to today's race and although he was beaten fresh up last campaign, his only defeat all campaign, I think he will be a different fresh up prospect this afternoon.
The locally trained Eight Bills
looms as the hardest for Rain Affair to beat.
This fellow came off a form lapse last start to record an impressive win under 60.5kgs in benchmark 80 class over 1000m but does face a significant rise in grade today.
Only lightly raced, Eight Bills
has won seven of 18 starts but Portelli now looks to have the six-year-old back on track. He relished the fast tempo up front last start coming from well back on the turn to have the race in safe keeping a 100m from the finish.
No doubt he races best that way and should the pace be right on this afternoon, Eight Bills
will be the closer to watch out for.
Just Crewsin' can mix his form but after two runs from a spell should be just about ready to return to peak ratings.
A winner of the Carrington Stakes last year in a tight finish from Cardinal Virtue, Just Crewsin' has been out of the winners list since.
Just Crewsin' resumed early in December with a closing sixth behind Recorrido at Rosehill then was not far behind News Alert in the Listed Razor Sharp handicap over 1200m.
He steps back slightly in distance today but that should not be an issue as his record over 1100m is sound.
The Gerald Ryan-trained Top Drop
is an interesting runner.
He has not raced since finishing second to Facile Tigre down the Flemington straight 1200m on Cup day in the Listed Sprint, making up many lengths from the 300m.
At his start prior he was a narrow winner of the Dual Choice Plate at Geelong defeating The Wingman.
Despite not having raced for 62 days, Top Drop has barrier trialled at Rosehill last week and should not be far off his top for a 1100m dash.
Hugh Bowman retains the ride on Top Drop who looms as the knockout horse.
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