Racing: War Affair ready to do battle

War Affair (left) winning the Group 2 Aushorse Golden Horseshoe for two-year-olds with champion jockey Joao Moreira astride on May 17.

SINGAPORE - The Mark Walker-trained War Affair can assure himself of Champion Two-Year-Old honours with a victory in the Group 3 $200,000 Juvenile Championship over 1,200m in Race 8 on Sunday.

War Affair showed his class when successful in the Group 2 Aushorse Golden Horseshoe over 1,200m on May 17 before going for a break.

The son of O'Reilly has had just three starts, winning his last two in impressive fashion. Come Sunday, he will have the services of champion jockey Joao Moreira.

Commenting on his charge, trainer Walker said: "We don't plan to do too much with him as we are worried he may become too dour for the 1,200m trip.

"So we've kept him fresh for Sunday's race with just a gallop yesterday. He's happy and well but, at the same time, there will be some improvement to come from him after Sunday's race.

"The way he races, War Affair is going to love to get-up to the 1,400m and the mile and I'm looking forward to stepping him up in distance."

War Affair showed continued improvement at his initial campaign. After a debut fourth - where he made up a lot of ground to finish fourth behind Peace No War over 1,200m on April 21 - he came out and won over 1,200m on May 3.

It was then on to the Aushorse Golden Horseshoe where he toyed with his rivals, scoring a two-length victory on May 17 and in the process broke the 1min 10sec barrier for the victory.

Walker gave the two-year-old a freshen up following that win and the gelding was seen on the track when finishing third behind Yin Jie in a 1,000m barrier trial on July 16.

"We sent him up the hill to the resting stables for three weeks after his win in the Golden Horseshoe," said Walker.

"He had a nice quiet trial last week with Joao (Moreira) on him. He's not a horse that you have to do a lot with as he's a clean-winded sort of horse.

"The small field (there are just seven rivals to contend with) will also suit him. There was a full field of 16 in the Golden Horseshoe and he was good winning that.

"This is better for him with the small field and he seems very well within himself."

The New Zealand-bred two-year-old has already topped the $226,000 mark in prizemoney from his three race starts for Warplan Racing Stable, with the promise of more to come.

War Affair will start from Gate No. 1 in a field which will see five other last-start winners vying for a chunk of the $200,000 prize purse. It promises to be a cracker.

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