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Rain Affair Looking To Revive Autumn Campaign
Multiple group-winning sprinter Rain Affair (Commands-I Believe, by Octagonal) will re-launch a stalled autumn carnival campaign in Saturday's Gr1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) at Randwick, reports au.news.yahoo.com. Working on the premise that 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 Gr1 feature. Rain Affair is also entered for the Gr2 Challenge Stakes (1000m) but Pride and 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 targeting the race," Pride said. "And that will give Rain Affair his chance." Pride pointed to the fact that two of Australia's fastest horses, Buffering and Snitzerland, have been entered for the Challenge Stakes as reason for avoiding the race. Their presence would almost certainly mean Rain Affair would be drawn into a speed battle. "He will get a much better run in the Canterbury Stakes. He's a much better chance of being left alone," Pride said. Rain Affair will be striving to bounce back from one of the worst performances of his career when finishing last, beaten over 8-lengths, in the Gr2 Expressway Stakes on 8 February. "His run was well below par and he pulled up accordingly but he seems back on track now," Pride said. The Canterbury Stakes has attracted a top-class field that includes Gr1 winners Zoustar, Appearance, Red Tracer, Streama, Sacred Falls, and emerging young star Not Listenin'tome.