Raffles Cup Start for War Affair
23 October 2013
A Raffles Cup start for leading Singapore three-year-old War Affair has been confirmed by trainer Mark Walker.
Following his impressive win in the Gr. 3 More Magic 3YO Championship at Kranji, Walker threw up the surprise suggestion that he may consider the 1800-metre Group One feature for the son of O’Reilly. After a meeting with War Affair’s owners, Walker has been able to confirm that his stable star will start in the October 27 weight-for-age event.
“I met with the owners and they’re keen for him to run,” Walker told www.theinformant.co.nz from his Singapore base. “He’s a very talented young horse and I’m confident he’s up to the challenge.”
The $70,000 Karaka yearling purchase has tasted defeat just once in his seven-start career. That was on debut when finishing fourth and he has gone unbeaten since to establish himself as the leading member of last season’s two-year-old crop and now head second season standings.
His performance to down fellow Kiwi-bred Daniel (Guillotine) in last Sunday’s 1600-metre age-group feature was very professional as he overcame a home turn buffeting to score comfortably for departing champion jockey Joao Moreira.
“He did it easily in the end and Joao didn’t have to push him right out,” said Walker. “He’s got the three-year-old Triple Crown in the New Year but he’s come through the run well and he deserves his chance in the Raffles Cup.”
With Moreira now in Hong Kong after signing off his fantastic Singapore stint, South African lightweight Barend Vorster will take the mount in the S$500,000 Raffles Cup, when War Affair will carry just 49 kilograms.
“I’m going to miss Joao, he was in a league of his own and has been great for the stable,” says Walker, who lead the early season standings and is currently second equal with 57 wins, five behind multiple premiership winner and fellow expat Laurie Laxon.
Fellow Brazilian Manoel Nunes, Englishman Alan Munro and Vorster – the next three on the jockeys’ table behind Moreira – are on the Kranji Te Akau register, along with leading Kiwi female jockey Lisa Allpress, who has ridden six winners in the early stages of her Singapore stint, and stable apprentice Rusof Shafiq.