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War Affair returning to NZ
04 Oct 2017

Former Singapore Horse of the Year (2014) War Affair (O’Reilly x Kristique) will be returning to New Zealand for a six-month spell while his connections ponder his future.


Whether the $3 million earner can soar back to such heights, let alone race again will depend very much on the next six months in New Zealand, where Marsh and his owners, the Ong family hope the greener space and fresher air can fix his well-documented wind issues.


The seven-year-old O’Reilly gelding, who was sold for $70,000 from Trelawney Stud's 2012 NZB draft, last raced in the S$200,000 Jumbo Jet Trophy (1400m) on September 10, where he finished sixth to fellow New Zealand bred Countofmontecristo.


Trainer Bruce Marsh revealed he could of pushed on with War Affair, but thought a decent spell in New Zealand would do him the world of good.


“If we had to be very tough, we could have pushed on, but we felt it was time he gets a proper break from racing,” Marsh said.


“Obviously, we wouldn’t have gone to such lengths with a Class 5 horse. War Affair owes us nothing but we are trying this and we’ll see what comes out of it.


“He will be going to New Zealand at a place which is still undecided. He will rest and play there for five to six months.


“We will monitor his progress during that time, and the plan is to race him back here if he gets better.


“As we all know, he had serious respiratory issues and had a wind operation which was the first of its kind done here – it was pulled far back.


“He was never really 100 per cent after the op as he then had complications with a bout of pneumonia.


“Even when he lost at his recent races, he still tried so hard, which goes to show what a great horse he is to overcome all these obstacles and still perform at the highest level.”


War Affair is likely to travel to New Zealand at the end of October. -NZ Racing desk