Trainer Joe Pride has called time on the spring campaign of Rain Affair following his lacklustre performance in the Sebring Sprint.
Sent out an easing favourite, the speedster took up the running in Saturday’s 1400m race but had no answer when challenged in the straight, wilting to finish a soundly beaten sixth behind Riva De Lago.
The performance followed his tough run in the Warwick Stakes when he over-raced in the lead but fought on valiantly to finish third.
Pride had feared that effort may have taken its toll on the six-year-old and his concerns were realised when Rain Affair showed none of his usual fight at Rosehill on Saturday on a firm track which is not his preferred surface.
He felt the quick turnaround between his Brisbane winter carnival campaign and spring return may have flattened the multiple Group One placegetter.
“He will go to the paddock now,” Pride said.
“He only had a month off after Brisbane and obviously it has been a bit too much for him.”
While Pride was left to lick his wounds, the Sebring Sprint delivered good results for the trainers of the two placegetters.
Robert Heathcote said Group One winner Solzhenitsyn was on track to defend his Toorak Handicap crown after finishing second to Riva De Lago.
Solzhenitsyn will run next in the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes, in which he finished third last year.
“It’s the same plan as last year,” Heathcote said.
“I was very happy with his run.
“Maybe they were going along at a decent clip which allowed a couple of horses to run on. The race probably wasn’t run to suit Solzhenitsyn.”
Greg Eurell was also buoyed by the effort of Your Honour who got a long way back but was doing his best work late.
The lightly-raced five-year-old remains in contention for the Group One Epsom Handicap (1600m) on October 5, along with stablemate Hosting who won the opening event at Rosehill.
However, both horses need to boost their respective ratings to clinch an Epsom start.
“I thought his last couple of furlongs were super,” Eurell said of Your Honour.
“We’d like to be able to have a go at the Epsom. It’s a hard race to get into, especially with where his rating is at. Hopefully his rating comes up a bit after today because I’m very confident he runs a strong mile.”