War Affair in mint condition at trials

Michael Lee, Singapore Turf Club
Trainer Alwin Tan was glad he was around at one of two barrier trials set down for his champion War Affair ahead of his much-awaited showdown with Spalato in the Group 3 Jumbo Jet Trophy (1400m) on September 6.

The Singaporean handler certainly bore a wide grin after War Affair came from second-last for regular partner Alan Munro to finish on top of a hot trial made up of his recent Emirates Singapore Derby nemesis Quechua, the resuming Wall Street Boy, Davide among others.

The five-year-old son of O’Reilly will be put through his paces in another barrier trial next week, most probably Thursday again, but Tan will not be on hand as he will be in Korea attending to his Asia Challenge Cup duo of El Padrino and Happy Money.

“That was his first trial since the Derby. Alan held on to the reins and gave him an easy run in the trial,” said Tan.

“He was in great shape today and I was very happy with the way he finished off the trial.

“He did drop in condition and weight after the Derby and for one week, I gave him no work.

“The plan is to run him in the Jumbo Jet on 6th of September and as we are all going to Korea, I wanted to see him trial today.

“The plan is also to give him another trial, probably next Thursday, depending on how he pulls up. He should be okay as he’s now older and can cop the work.”

With Tan and his stable supervisor cum senior track rider Jason Ong both Seoul-bound next week, it will be left to his other stable supervisor Joe Zulkifli and Munro to oversee War Affair’s preparation in the interim. The English rider was suitably impressed by the way the Singapore Horse of the Year dawdled at the rear before letting his signature turn of foot do the taking inside the last two furlongs.

“He has good pace but he doesn’t care in the running, he just does what he wants until the 600m when he starts to gain ground,” said Munro.

“He felt a little tired in the last bit, which was to be expected as he hasn’t raced for seven weeks (since Derby on July 12) but he will definitely benefit from another run next week.”
Meanwhile, Quechua’s jockey Corey Brown was also giving the thumbs-up even after the 2015 Derby winner came in second-last in the same barrier trial, about five lengths off War Affair.
“It was a pretty hot trial with War Affair and so many good horses, but he was not out to break any record. We just stayed midfield and did not go ripping any dirt,” said the Australian.
“He was well within himself and I was very happy with that run given he’s been away for six weeks.”

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