Sunday, 15 July 2012
Joe Pride is certain Rain Affair is a Group One winner in waiting and the trainer will give him the chance to fulfil his destiny in the Manikato Stakes.
But if it doesn't happen in the Manikato in October, Pride is prepared to bide his time until the autumn rather than push the gelding through a hard spring campaign.
The free-running four-year-old notched two Group One seconds in Sydney in April on firmer tracks than his preferred going.
He was collared late by Master Of Design in the TJ Smith and tried hard without success to answer the challenge from outstanding filly Atlantic Jewel in the All-Aged Stakes.
"He has been back in the stable for three weeks," Pride said.
"He might just have three races in the spring with two lead-ups in the Shorts and the Premiere Stakes before the Manikato.
"It depends. Maybe if we could get some soft tracks for him it would be different but I think next autumn and winter will be his time.
"Spring is a hard time for sprinters. There are more races for them in the autumn."
Pride learned much from Rain Affair's first foray to Melbourne where the gelding finished sixth in the Newmarket Handicap in March won by Hay List.
"I think the surface at Moonee Valley will suit him much better," he said.
"He is also much better coming off a bend which is another reason not to go to Flemington."
Rain Affair will occupy much of Pride's time with the injured Neeson to miss the spring due to injury.
The trainer has a high opinion of stakeswinner Neeson whose autumn/winter campaign was disappointing with three placings from seven starts.
"He is injured and is out for the spring," Pride said.
"He will have a long break and come back next autumn."
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