Rain Affair will re-launch a stalled autumn carnival campaign at Group One level with a new jockey on Saturday.
Working on the premise Rain Affair looks the only leader in the race, trainer Joe Pride and owner Don Storey have opted to start the sprinter in the $500,000 Canterbury Stakes at Randwick.
Rain Affair is also entered for the Challenge Stakes but Pride said Storey agreed the Canterbury Stakes was the best race to help the horse in his bid to rediscover top form.
“They are both hot races but there are a few horses in the Canterbury Stakes who might not be specifically targetting the race,” Pride said.
“And that will give Rain Affair his chance.”
In contrast, two of Australia’s fastest horses, Buffering and Snitzerland, have been entered for the Challenge.
Their presence would almost certainly mean Rain Affair would be drawn into a speed battle whereas the Canterbury Stakes appeals as a race where Rain Affair can have an uncontested time in front.
“He will get a much better run in the Canterbury Stakes. He’s a much better chance of being left alone,” Pride said.
Jason Collett will take over from Tim Clark who rode Rain Affair when the six-year-old ran one of the worst races of his career behind Appearance in the Expressway Stakes last month.
“His run was well below par and he pulled up accordingly but he seems back on track now,” Pride said.
With Collett on board, Rain Affair rescued his autumn with an 11-length barrier trial win at Warwick Farm on February 28.
Pride said he would welcome rain to enhance Rain Affair’s chances with the sprinter having seven wins from eight starts on wet tracks.
There are 10 entries for the Canterbury Stakes with two stables accounting for seven nominations.
Chris Waller’s quartet is led by stud-bound three-year-old Zoustar and high-class racemare Red Tracer as well as Doncaster Mile winner Sacred Falls and My Kingdom Of Fife.
Guy Walter has entered Appearance, Streama and Toydini.
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