Clean sweep for War Affair

High-class O’Reilly three-year-old War Affair made it a perfect three-act affair in the new More Magic 3YO Championship series at Kranji last night. He again showcased the wide array of his exciting qualities to land the Gr 3 Magic Millions 2013 More Magic 3YO Championship (1600m).

Already winner of the first two legs, the Premier Racing Partnerships Stakes (1200m) and the Newgate Farm Stakes (1400m), he breezed through his first test at the distance. Trainer Mark Walker indicated after the event that War Affair could now target the Group One Raffles Cup over 1800m in two weeks’ time.

“If he pulls up extremely well, I may set him for the Raffles Cup. Or else it will be the Three-Year-Old Series next year,” he said. “The thing about this horse is he keeps improving all the time. Every time we ask him, he just goes up a bit more. There was a bit of a scare at the home turn, but he dug deep and was still able to win. He’s really a fantastic horse.

“When Joao elected to ride War Affair instead of Daniel, I took a line through Joao. He doesn’t do anything wrong. Joao actually told me after the race that he did not really go full bore at him in the last bit. That tells me he still had plenty left in the tank and that’s why I think the Raffles Cup would be ideal for him, but we’ll see.”

The win also gave Moreira the perfect Group-winning send-off before he flies to Hong Kong to continue his stellar riding career there. “Winning a Group race at my last day in Singapore means a lot to me, but even more so after I’ve done it on this horse as I’ve ridden him at all his seven starts here for six wins,” he said. “He’s clearly the best three-year-old around and he’s shown it again today. We had a beautiful run throughout, but he didn’t have much luck at the top of the straight.

“As we tried to shift out to the outside for our run, John Powell’s horse pushed us out even wider. That made him lose his balance, but he recovered very well. I always had great confidence he would go after Daniel. I just had to guide him in the right direction. I was actually not digging that deep into him. He just did it all by himself and even though I know Daniel is a very good horse, we were always going to catch him. It was my turn to beat Corey after he got me last Friday on Lord Brompton (Moreira ran second on Tom), but we’re good friends and it was all in good sporting spirit.”

Moreira concurred with Walker that War Affair should be able to see out the 1800 metre trip of the Raffles Cup, but will of course not be able to test the theory come raceday. “I think he will be a good ride for the Raffles Cup. He can definitely stay,” he said. “I take this opportunity to thank the connections for having put me on such a good horse. He has the potential of going all the way to the top here.” War Affair was a $70,000 as a yearling for Te Akau’s David Ellis and has now won six of his seven starts.

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