War Affair issued call to arms

Source: NZ News Desk, 18th Sep 2014

A new chapter is set to be written in the annals of War Affair’s (NZ) (O’Reilly) career as Singapore’s reigning three-year-old champion returns to action in Sunday’s Sgp.3 Committee Prize (1600m).

It marks the first appearance by the New Zealand-bred galloper since he put an exclamation mark on his three-year-old campaign with a record-breaking performance in May’s Group one Singapore Guineas (1600m).

“He’s gotten a lot stronger and he’s definitely a lot more experienced now,” said the Singaporean handler, who is in Guangzhou, China, on business but will return on Thursday and oversee any last minute preparations ahead of War Affair’s highly-anticipated comeback.

War Affair’s long-awaited return to racing begins this Sunday at the Sgp.3 Committee’s Prize (1600m).

The strapping son of O’Reilly has had three barrier trials leading up to Sunday’s US$200,000 feature race and jockey Danny Beasley reckoned his mount, who posted wins at his last two workouts with times of 1min 0.15secs and 1min 2.66secs.

Beasley also dispelled any worries that a first-up over the mile might over-strain the brown gelding, whose two previous first-ups have been over six-furlongs.

“His preparation during this break has been very different from the past and Alwin and (stable supervisor) Jason (Ong) have been focusing on his strength and stamina,” he said. “Plus he’s won twice over this distance before (plus setting a new Long Course record of 1min 33.69secs at the Guineas) so I’m not worried at all about him taking on the mile for his first start back.

“He will be well weighted for it too. If he had been sent for an earlier race he probably would have carried 58kg or 59kg but he’ll only carry 55kg this Sunday, so it’s really an ideal race for him.”

In fact, Tan maintained that this comeback date for War Affair had long been pencilled in and was part of the larger plan for the Warplan Racing Stable-owned galloper, with a possible tilt at the Singapore Triple Crown Series on the agenda.

The first of the three Legs kicks off with the Group one Panasonic Kranji Mile on October 5, followed by the Group one Raffles Cup three weeks later and the taxing challenge ends with the Group one Longines Singapore Gold Cup on November 16.

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