Melbourne’s fickle weather will determine whether former Sydney sprinter Rain Affair takes his place at Flemington.
Now in the care of Daniel Bowman at Warrnambool, Rain Affair is among nominations for The Straight Six (1200m) on Saturday.
Melbourne’s metropolitan tracks in recent weeks have been on the firm side and that is a concern for Bowman.
“We’re going to accept and see what the weather does and what the track ends up being,” Bowman said.
“It’s been a bit firm at Flemington lately so if it’s too firm we won’t be running.
“We’re not going to risk the horse.”
Formerly trained by Joe Pride, Rain Affair is into his second preparation for Bowman after three runs last spring.
Bowman explained Rain Affair, a winner of 12 of his 39 starts, came to his stable for a change of environment and racing direction after being winless since the 2013 Missile Stakes at Randwick.
“He hasn’t won for a long time and there are no grand plans,” Bowman said.
“We’re just trying to place him where he will be competitive and to try and get him winning again.
“At this time of year we’d like to be racing on softer ground, which is what you would expect, but it isn’t happening.”
Rain Affair struck a wet track to begin his most recent campaign, but the race didn’t pan out for the rising nine-year-old in the Wangoom Handicap at Warrnambool.
Drawing an inside barrier, Rain Affair received early interference that resulted in Michelle Payne being suspended.
Bowman said Rain Affair found himself in unfamiliar territory after being checked and resented racing in behind horses.
“We have put a line through his first-up run,” Bowman said.
“For a horse that has probably never had one cross him, to be pocketed in behind them after being checked, it set him off and he wanted to over-race.
“He’s not a horse that can sit and sprint, he’s got to be free-rolling and he didn’t get that opportunity.”
Bowman said Warrnambool’s beach facilities had helped Rain Affair recover well from his first-up run.