Horse racing: Wide draw leaves War Affair with tough Emirates Singapore Derby test

War Affair (Alan Munro astride) winning the Group 1 $500,000 Patron’s Bowl in Race 8 at Kranji on June 21, 2015.
War Affair (Alan Munro astride) winning the Group 1 $500,000 Patron’s Bowl in Race 8 at Kranji on June 21, 2015. PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER

SINGAPORE - Leading Emirates Singapore Derby contender War Affair faces a challenging task after being drawn out wide at gate 14 for this Sunday's $1.15 million race.

The New Zealand-bred gelding has claimed the first two legs of the Singapore Four-Year-Old Challenge, capturing the Stewards' Cup (1,400m) in May and the Patron's Bowl (1,600m) last month.

The 2,000 Group 1 Derby is the final leg though the unfavourable berth will be a blow to the Alwin Tan-trained galloper's chances.

War Affair, who will be ridden by Espsom Derby winning jockey Alan Munro, has won five of his last six starts. His sole blemish coming from a fifth-place finish at last November's Group 1 Singapore Gold Cup.

His main rival at the Singapore Turf Club this weekend will come in the form of Patrick Shaw's Quechua, who drew gate 12.

The Argentine-bred stayer, who will be piloted by Melbourne Cup winning jockey Corey Brown, clinched the $1.35 million Gold Cup over 2,200m, denying War Affair the chance of winning the much-coveted Triple Crown last year.

The Triple Crown is a series of three Group 1 races consisting the Kranji Mile (1,600m), Raffles Cup (1,800m), both which War Affair won but fell short at the Gold Cup.

South African Shaw has three horses - the most of any trainer - in the 15-strong field. His other runners Cooptado and In Fact will jump from stall two and 11 respectively.

Fastnet Dragon, trained by Singaporean Leslie Khoo, will start from gate one. The Australian-bred gelding has been in fine form of late with four straight wins, albeit against lesser company.

Emirates Singapore Derby Post Position Draw

Gate 1 - Fastnet Dragon

Gate 2 - Cooptado

Gate 3 - Sebrose

Gate 4 - Order Of The Sun

Gate 5 - Ride Of Valkyries

Gate 6 - Blue Swede

Gate 7 - Ideal Guide

Gate 8 - Hughsy

Gate 9 - Laughing Gravy

Gate 10 - Absolutely

Gate 11 - In Fact

Gate 12 - Quechua

Gate 13 - Twickenham

Gate 14 - War Affair

Gate 15 - Knight Wager

ocharles@sph.com.sg