Owners over the moon with Manhattan

A property transaction almost a decade ago established a partnership that’s looking forward to a big week at Flemington with Moonee Valley Vase winner and Victoria Derby contender Moonovermanhattan, and a possible Melbourne Cup runner, Unchain My Heart.

Ken Biddick bought a building from Peter Anastasiou about eight years ago and, in the process, the pair discovered they shared an interest in horse-racing. Soon they were doing equine, rather than real estate business and they now own around 20 horses together.

Ken explains how it works, “When we buy or breed we often do it together, usually fifty-fifty, then we sell down after that. Peter is right into genetics and the sales and he bought Moonovermanhattan because he liked him on type and conformation.”

The Manhattan Rain colt was knocked down to agent Dermot Farrington for $100,000 at the 2013 Inglis Easter Sale where he was offered by Arrowfield Stud which bred him with John Leaver and Alan Jones.

Ken and Peter’s racing team also includes Group-placed city winner Decircles, multiple city winner Jessy Belle and Geelong winner Last Sight, but for Ken there’s no doubt about his biggest thrill in racing so far.

“I’ve had lots of winners, including an Adelaide Group win with Toast of the Coast, but the Moonee Valley Vase is my biggest win. I’m just hoping now for a Group One!

“The Vase was a great win, Moonovermanhattan was very strong at the end of it. He’s sensible, and a really nice horse with no quirks and a nice bit of acceleration.”

Ken has owned and managed a sporting goods company since 1982, selling Converse footwear and apparel throughout Australia and New Zealand, but racing was part of his life long before that.

“I’ve always been around racing, I used to have a penny each way when I was 12 and later I worked at the races as a tic-tac man, backing the shorteners.”

Ken’s thoroughbred interests have progressed a long way from those beginnings. The first horse he ever bred, an Encosta de Lago filly, made $510,000 at the 2005 Inglis Easter Sale, and Ken has recently returned from England where he and Peter sold a Sea The Stars colt for 400,000 guineas at the Tattersalls October Sale.

Peter, who operates as Grandlodge Racing, and Ken work with several trainers. “I started with Tony Vasil, and our horses are now with Peter Moody, Mathew Ellerton, David Hayes, Stephen Brown and Chris Wood in New Zealand as well as Mick Price. They all have different strengths and suit different horses.

“Mick is a great trainer, he’s very knowledgeable and very communicative.”

Ken hasn’t missed a Derby Day at Flemington in the past 30 years, and this one is set to be special, whatever happens in the big race. Ken and his wife Catherine will be hosting around fifty friends and family members in a marquee in The Birdcage.

As Ken says, “It could be a hell of a party!”

Manhattan Rain colts ready for the Victoria Derby

Only one of Australia’s Second Season Sires is represented in Saturday’s $1.5 million AAMI Victoria Derby G1 and he has not one, but two runners.

That’s Manhattan Rain, sire of Moonovermanhattan who will jump from gate 12 in the 2500-metre Classic, and Light Up Manhattan, drawn seven.

Their trainers are pleased with the progress of both colts going into the Derby, with last-start Moonee Valley Vase G2 winner Moonovermanhattan paying $9 on the TAB, and Light Up Manhattan, fourth in the Caulfield Classic G3, on $21.

Moonovermanhattan’s trainer Mick Price says, “It was good to see him finish off so well over 2000 metres. He’s come through it very well and I’m very happy with him.

“He will spell after Saturday and if he gets the distance, we’ll aim at the Australian Derby with him in the Autumn.”

Price also prepares another son of Manhattan Rain, the gelding Manhattan Avenue who lines up on Derby Day in the $200,000 Carbine Club S. G3 over 1600 metres, after two runner-up finishes in Listed company at Flemington and Caulfield.

Price says, “They’re both good types, with strong bone, good size and substance and great front legs on them. The big track at Flemington will suit them.

“We selected them both on our yearling short list, bought Manhattan Avenue ourselves, and would have purchased Moonovermanhattan but we had a client on the horse buy it for us.

“They’re both quite easy to train. Manhattan Avenue has been a little immature and nervous, but we’ve done dressage work with him and he’s coping really well.

“Moonovermanhattan is a dude, he’s bombproof and so relaxed.”

Price has trained a Victoria Derby runner-up, as well as third, fourth, fifth and sixth placegetters, but is yet to win the race.

Moonovermanhattan (ex Lunaspur by Flying Spur) was bred by Arrowfield Stud, John Leaver & Alan Jones and bought for $100,000 from the Arrowfield draft at the 2013 Inglis Easter Sale by bloodstock agent Dermot Farrington, acting for owners Peter Anastasiou, Ken Biddick and Craig Mathieson.

Light Up Manhattan is the first Derby runner for Ciaron Maher who expresses strong confidence in the colt’s ability to stay the distance.

“He’s a real genuine stayer and we’ve been focussed on one race. We’ve slowly screwed him down, put shades on him and he’s really come on in his work. He’s ready to go out to 2500 metres on a big track.

“He’s quite tough, but has a beautiful temperament and he’s lovely round the stable, not a whimper out of him.

“We bought him after he was stakes-placed at two, solely for this race, and he’s coming together nicely. His two-year-old preparation makes it a lot easier.

“Mark Zahra rode him on Tuesday and said he’s really come on. He worked strongly through the line over about a mile.

“He’s a very strong, imposing type, with short cannons, a strong neck and a big stallion’s head.”

Light Up Manhattan (ex Luminata by Zabeel) was bred by Andrew Taylor’s GT Thoroughbreds and purchased for $36,000 by Caulfield trainer Peter Clarke from the Supreme Thoroughbreds draft at the 2013 Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale.

He was re-sold privately after his three-start juvenile campaign and is now raced by Colin McKenna, Frank Caldwell, Trevor Cole-Sinclair, Damian, Travis & Daryl Degenhardt, Jason Disney, Terry Ginnane, Geoff Handbury, Paul Hopgood, Andy Makiv, Michael Stewart, the Insight Syndicate, Craig Thomas & Adrian Willoughby.

Manhattan Rain’s prospects of Flemington Classic success don’t end with the Derby. His daughter, the Arrowfield-bred filly Crafty (ex Spirited Dancer by Sadler’s Wells) is the current TAB favourite for next Thursday’s $1 million Crown Oaks G1. 

Crafty won the VRC Taj Rossi Series Final LR over 1600 metres as a late 2YO and goes into the Oaks after two excellent placings in the VRC Edward Manifold S. G2 and MRC Caulfield Classic G3.

She was a $150,000 purchase from Arrowfield by David Redvers at the 2013 Inglis Easter Sale and is trained by Robert Smerdon for Qatar Bloodstock, established in 2010 and seeking its first Group 1 victory in Australia.

Nine wins, including the Moonee Valley Vase, and five other stakes performances, have put Manhattan Rain in the No. 2 spot on the Second Season Sires’ list with earnings of almost $600,000.

Nineteen years ago at the 1995 Melbourne Spring Carnival a single outstanding 3YO colt, Octagonal, announced the arrival of a major new classic sire, Zabeel.

A few minutes at Flemington over the next seven days may be all it takes to find his successor.

Manhattan Rain colt wins Moonee Valley Vase

Manhattan Rain has four talented 3YOs knocking on the door of Melbourne Spring Carnival success and the door opened on Saturday for Arrowfield graduate Moonovermanhattan who scored a convincing victory in Saturday’s $200,000 MVRC Moonee Valley Vase 2040m G2.

Fresh from a stunning Group 1 victory on Friday evening with champion sprinter Lankan Rupee, trainer Mick Price and jockey Craig Newitt combined again to produce Moonovermanhattan, already a Group 3 winner at two and second in the MVRC Bill Stutt S. G2 on 26 September.

Newitt sent the powerfully built grey colt forward from Gate 11 and he settled beautifully in second spot, behind Zululand. He swept to the lead around the turn and galloped home strongly to win by 1.75 lengths from Atmosphere and Go Indy Go.

It was a performance that confirmed Moonovermanhattan’s readiness for next Saturday’s $1.5 million VRC Victoria Derby G1 over Flemington’s testing 2500-metre course.

Mick Price said after the race, “He’s a good looking horse. He stands over a bit of ground. He’s a big clean-winded colt with a lovely temperament. He’s very sound and he’s had a good two weeks.

“I think this is the race that is usually a good form race for the Victoria Derby. I know they’ve got the Caulfield Classic there now, but I’m just really looking forward to it (the Derby).

“We know he’ll relax, and if I can put him into a Derby with cover, get him behind a horse and put him to sleep, he’s got a lot going for him, but he just needs to get the 2500 (metres of the Derby).”

Moonovermanhattan was bred by Arrowfield, John Leaver & Alan Jones out of Lunaspur, a 2YO stakes-winning daughter of Flying Spur and Lunaliona, from Jean-Luc Lagadere’s famous family of Group 1 winner Luna Wells, Champion French 2YO Long Mick and their half-brother, Champion French Sire Linamix. 

Moonovermanhattan was a $100,000 purchase from Arrowfield 2013 Inglis Easter Sale draft by Irish bloodstock agent Dermot Farrington for owners Peter Anastasiou, Ken Biddick and Craig Mathieson.

Lunaspur is also the dam of Group 2 winner Colorado Claire, stakes-placed 2YO Moonlight Hussey and a yearling colt by More Than Ready. She delivered a Charge Forward colt the day before the Moonee Valley Vase and is booked to Arrowfield’s new sire, six-time Group 1 winner Dundeel.

Manhattan Rain will be represented in the VRC Oaks G1 by Arrowfield graduate Crafty, also a 2YO stakeswinner, and placed this season in both the VRC Edward Manifold S. G2 and MRC Caulfield Classic G3 for trainer Robert Smerdon.

Moonovermanhattan’s stablemate Manhattan Avenue has also stepped up this Spring to post two game second placings in Listed company at Flemington and Caulfield.

The Ciaron Maher-trained Light Up Manhattan is also Derby-bound, following solid fourth-place finishes in the VRC UCI Super Impose S. LR and the Caulfield Classic G3.

Current TAB fixed odds betting for the Victoria Derby has Spring Champion S. G1 winner Hampton Court (by Redoute’s Choice) as the $3.10 favourite, with Moonovermanhattan at $6, Bachman (by All American) at $9 and Light Up Manhattan at $17.

Crafty holds favouritism for the VRC Oaks at $3.50, ahead of Lumosty ($3) and Go Indy Go ($3.50).

Manhattan Rain, sire of 12 winners and five stakes performers from his first crop, is second on the Australian Second Season Sires’ list with prizemoney of close to $600,000.

Lankan Rupee matches his sire's Group 1 record

Lankan Rupee’s sensational fourth Group 1 victory, in the MVRC Manikato S. G1 on Friday evening, equals the Group 1 race record of his champion sire Redoute’s Choice, whose famous silks he carries for Teeley Assets.

It also leaves only one of the four Group 1 races won by Redoute’s Choice still to be claimed by one of his progeny.

Redoute’s Choice won the 1999 Manikato Stakes at his 3YO debut, after winning the Veuve Clicquot S. LR and the Blue Diamond S. G1 at two.

His sons Undoubtedly and Nadeem won the Blue Diamond in 2005 & 2006, and another son, Not A Single Doubt has already produced his own winner of the race, Miracles of Life in 2013.

At his sixth start Redoute’s Choice won an epic battle with Testa Rossa for the 1999 Caulfield Guineas G1. Six years later his son God’s Own claimed the race.

That leaves the C.F. Orr Stakes as the only Group 1 race won by Redoute’s Choice which has not yet appeared on the list of 36 Group 1 successes by his top 13 fillies and best dozen sons.

He has had just two runners in the Orr Stakes to date: Not A Single Doubt, 6th as a 3YO in 2005, when Elvstroem won the race; and Miss Finland, 4th in 2007 when it was won by El Segundo.

Lankan Rupee’s share of the $1 million Manikato Stakes purse takes Redoute’s Choice’s season earnings close to $3 million, a figure that upcoming Group 1 runners such as Hampton Court (Victoria Derby) and Scissor Kick (Coolmore Stud Stakes) give him every chance of boosting significantly.

Lankan Rupee magnificent in dramatic Manikato win

Lankan Rupee refreshed his world champion title in no uncertain terms on Friday evening with a breath-taking display of powerhouse pace to win the $1 million MVRC Manikato S. 1200m G1.

It is the fourth Group 1 success for Teeley Assets’ home-bred son of champion sire Redoute’s Choice, and easily the most dramatic as Lankan Rupee held off a rolling tide of Australia’s best sprinting talent by a short head, a nose and four short half-heads. In fact, only 0.04 second separated the first seven horses.

Lankan Rupee then had to survive protests by the runner-up Angelic Light and third placegetter Famous Seamus, whose jockeys alleged interference 100 metres after the start. The protest was dismissed by the stewards after about 45 minutes of questioning and deliberation.

The 5YO gelding’s jockey Craig Newitt said, “He’s just a rocket this horse out of the machine. He got the bit between his teeth and I sent him to the front. He was there to be run down but his class shone through.”

The efforts behind Lankan Rupee measured the class of his performance. The riders of Angelic Light, Famous Seamus, Rebel Dane, Terravista, Temple of Boom and Buffering all expressed admiration for their courageous finishes, covered as they were by a very small blanket.

 Lankan Rupee now ranks only behind Miss Finland (five Group 1 victories) among the 25 Group 1 winners by Redoute’s Choice, also represented this Spring by Hampton Court (ATC Spring Champion S. G1), Scissor Kick (ATC Up and Coming S. G3), Panzer Division (ATC Ming Dynasty H. G3) and Perth stakeswinner Rock Magic. Scissor Kick, runner-up in last month’s Golden Rose, confirmed a start in next Saturday’s VRC Coolmore Stud S. G1 with a sparkling jumpout at Flemington on Friday morning.

The second foal of Group 3 winner Estelle Collection (by Stravinsky), Lankan Rupee was foaled and reared at Arrowfield for Muzaffar Yaseen’s Teeley Assets. Trained by Mick Price to win ten of his 19 starts and $2.9 million, he now aims to extend his Group 1 record in the $1 million VRC Darley Classic at Flemington on 8 November.

Estelle Collection has an unraced 3YO filly by Redoute’s Choice, named Timeless Choice; a yearling filly by Manhattan Rain; and foaled a full brother to Lankan Rupee for Coolmore earlier this month.

Lankan Rupee’s year-older sister Charming Estelle has three colts by Manhattan Rain, the latest born at Arrowfield on 28 September.

Vale Tugela, dam of Makybe Diva

The history-making racemare Makybe Diva is a big enough reason for the Australian racing industry to mourn the death of her mother Tugela on Friday morning.

However, Arrowfield has a few extra reasons to remember her, not least the fact that it was Tugela’s first home in Australia, after she arrived  in September 1999, six months before her Desert King yearling filly also came to Arrowfield.  That filly was, of course, Makybe Diva, winner of 15 races, seven at Group 1 level including three Melbourne Cups and more than $14 million.

Tugela returned to Arrowfield several times during her Australian breeding career, conceiving four times to champion sire Redoute’s Choice in 2O02, 2005, 2006 and 2008. The results of those matings, two colts and two fillies, significantly boosted her record and made it clear that Tugela was no “one-hit wonder.”

Her four yearlings offered at the Inglis Easter Sale all made well over $1 million, and three of them were by Redoute’s Choice: the colts Musket (sold by Arrowfield for $2.5 million, 2005) and Shadowofexcellence ($1.2 million, 2009), and the filly Bakarje Diva ($1.2 million, 2008). Tugela’s fourth million-dollar yearling was the Street Cry colt Rodway, sold for $1.2 million in 2012 and a two-time winner still in training with Peter Moody.

Musket won four races including the STC Shannon S. G2 for the Inghams; Shadowofexcellence is a multiple winner and was stakes-placed in Melbourne as a 3YO; and Bakarje Diva did not win but is now breeding for Baramul Stud.

The last result of Tugela’s visits to Arrowfield is La Amistad who became her sire’s 115th stakeswinner last May. Although she doesn’t possess Makybe Diva’s rare talent, the 5YO mare has won five races up to 2400 metres and goes to next Saturday’s VRC Lexus S. G3 in the hope of securing her own Melbourne Cup start. Given her pedigree and the early success of Redoute’s Choice as a damsire, she also has great prospects as a broodmare.

Tugela leaves her owners with the consolation of two valuable fillies, a 2YO full sister to Makybe Diva and her final foal, an All Too Hard filly she delivered this Spring.

Royal Descent, Wandjina & Cox Plate history

As if to echo their historic Australian Sires’ Premiership quinella, Redoute’s Choice and his son Snitzel each has a runner in Saturday’s $3 million MVRC W.S. Cox Plate G1.

Redoute’s Choice is represented by Gerry Harvey’s magnificent home-bred mare, Royal Descent (ex Mulan Princess by Kaapstad), four times Group 1-placed over 1600 metres in Sydney since her 2013 Australian Oaks G1 victory.  She has ventured to Melbourne for only two previous starts, both of them last Spring when she was unplaced in Happy Trails’ Turnbull S. G1, and a gallant fifth in Fawkner’s Caulfield Cup G1.

Trained by Chris Waller, her form this season could hardly be better, or more frustrating: four runner-up finishes at Randwick, mostly recently beaten a very skinny nose by her stablemate He’s Your Man in the Epsom H. G1.

That performance earned Royal Descent a Timeform figure of 125, though with a ?, indicating some doubt about its accuracy. Only Sacred Falls (127) goes into this year’s Cox Plate with a higher figure.

Gary Crispe at Racing & Sports, who compiles the Timeform ratings, explains, “In the case of Royal Descent she has a well-defined Timeform ratings profile of 121 established over several runs. This campaign her form has been faultless and her ratings have gone 112, 118, 119 and 125.

“We seldom see a jump like this at this level in older horses but having said that, being a quality mare, it is possible she has improved beyond her previous 121 master figure. We have cautioned the run because at WFA it makes her the one to beat with the 2kg allowance mares receive.”

Royal Descent and Lankan Rupee, favourite for the Manikato Stakes on Friday evening, give Redoute’s Choice a chance to achieve an unprecedented double, by siring the winners of both races with two different horses in the same year. Sunline (2000), Rubiton (1987) and Strawberry Road (1983) have won both races in the same year, a feat no longer possible because they are now held on consecutive days.

Snitzel, the sire of last year’s sensational winner Shamus Award, has the Gai Waterhouse-trained Arrowfield graduate Wandjina (ex La Bamba by Last Tycoon) in the field after his owners Edmund & Belinda Bateman paid the $130,000 late entry fee and he received the nod from the MVRC committee.

Wandjina’s last-start third in the Caulfield Guineas G1 earned him a Timeform figure of 121, again with a modifying ?. The other two Australian 3YO colts in the field, Almalad and Sweynesse, are rated 119 and 116 respectively.

Gary Crispe says, “In the case of Wandjina his established Timeform ratings profile is around 105. He has five ratings around that mark, so when he suddenly jumps to 121 at 100/1, alarm bells ring for us. Hence the ? as we are not at all sure about him being at that level just yet.”

In the TAB Fixed Odds betting for the Cox Plate Fawkner is now a clear favourite ahead of Northern Hemisphere 3YO Adelaide (considered a 4YO in Australia), Sacred Falls and Criterion, with the rest of the field at double-figure odds, including Royal Descent ($11) and Wandjina ($41).

A review of Cox Plate results achieved by 3YO colts and fillies & mares over the past decade casts light on their chances in this year’s race.

Eleven 3YO colts have started in the Cox Plate from 2004 to 2013 and three have won: Shamus Award (2014), So You Think (2009) and Savabeel (2004).  Another three colts have placed in the Cox Plate: Manhattan Rain (2nd in 2009) and All Too Hard & Pierro who filled the placings behind Ocean Park in 2012. 

Of those six 3YO male Cox Plate winners and placegetters, four brought a top three Caulfield Guineas finish into the Cox Plate. All Too Hard won the Guineas, while Pierro was second and, like Wandjina, Shamus Award & Manhattan Rain were third.

So You Think was fifth in the 2009 Guineas behind Starspangledbanner, Carrara, Manhattan Rain and Extra Zero. Savabeel had not started in Melbourne before the Cox Plate and came into the race off a Spring Champion S. G1 win.

A total of three wins and three placings from 11 starters gives an excellent 2004-13 Cox Plate top-three strike rate of 54.5% for 3YO colts.

Incidentally, the only two 3YO fillies that have run in the Cox Plate over the last ten years are both by Redoute’s Choice: Samantha Miss (3rd, 2008) and Miss Finland (6th, 2006) – she also ran as a 4YO in El Segundo’s 2007 Cox Plate, finishing fourth.

In all, twenty-one fillies and mares have started a total of 24 times in the Cox Plate since 2004. (Avienus, Miss Finland & More Joyous each started twice.)

Makybe Diva (2005) and Pinker Pinker (2011) have won the race during that period, while Samantha Miss and a third daughter of Redoute’s Choice, Lotteria (2nd, 2005) have both placed. One other Redoute’s Choice mare, King’s Rose, finished 7th as a 4YO in the 2011 Cox Plate.

A total of two wins and two placings from 24 starts gives a strike rate of 16.7% for fillies and mares in the Cox Plate.

What can be concluded from this examination of recent Cox Plate history?  With rose-coloured spectacles firmly in place, and one eye slightly closed, the obvious bets are surely the 3YO colt with Caulfield Guineas form, and the mare by Redoute’s Choice!

A prompt first winner for Beneteau

The clue to Beneteau’s first winner was there from the beginning, when a mare called Prompt delivered him on 3 August 2012.

He’s now called Prompt Return and on Saturday he became the first winner for the brilliant son of Redoute’s Choice, who died in January 2013, and has only two crops totalling 135 live foals to represent him.

Prompt Return started favourite in the Elmore 2YO Plate over 900 metres at Bendigo and won in convincing fashion by a length from Hello Hornsby and Stryking Love.

His dam Prompt is a daughter of Exceed and Excel and the good New Zealand racemare Amnesia whose race record includes nine Group & Listed Race placings and a fourth in Pace Invader’s 1998 CJC NZ 1000 Guineas G1. Prompt Return is the second of his dam’s two runners to win, after Caulfield juvenile winner Diamond Glow, also second to Miracles Of Life in the 2013 MRC Blue Diamond Preview LR.

Trainer Danny O’Brien said it was a “nice debut” for Prompt Return who was bred by Ron Hamer and sold from the Newgate Farm draft for $60,000 to Blue Sky Bloodstock at the 2014 Gold Coast Magic Millions Sale.  Hamer, who retained a share in Prompt Return to race him with Mark Sowerby, also has a yearling full sister to the colt.

Prompt Return’s victory came less than an hour after Beneteau’s very first runner, Swift Reply (ex Docherty Woods by Tale Of The Cat) ran fourth on debut at Randwick.

Beneteau (Redoute’s Choice-Slice of Paradise by Encosta de Lago) was sold by Arrowfield for $1 million to Blue Sky Thoroughbreds at the 2009 Inglis Easter Yearling Sale and, in the hands of trainer Paul Messara, quickly proved to be one of Australia’s most exciting juveniles.

After a sparkling debut win at Randwick in January 2010, he travelled to Melbourne to claim the MRC Blue Diamond Prelude G3 before finishing an unlucky third in the MRC Blue Diamond S. G1 and fifth in Crystal Lily’s Golden Slipper.

Beneteau joined the Arrowfield roster in 2011 and served 179 mares during his two seasons at stud.

As Blue Sky’s Julian Blaxland tweeted on Saturday, “It was great to be able to provide Blue Sky Bloodstock yearling grad Beneteau with his first winner as a sire with Magic Millions grad Prompt Return.”

Manhattan Rain moves up Second Season Sires' list

For second season sire Manhattan Rain, Caulfield Cup day was something of a groundhog experience, with three of his talented 3YOs almost exactly repeating their stakes performances at Flemington two weeks ago.

However, their latest efforts were rewarded with more prizemoney, enough to elevate Manhattan Rain to the No. 2 spot on the Australian Second Season Sires’ list where he splits Turffontein and Medaglia d’Oro. Manhattan Rain’s season earnings now total $432,640.

Once again, his Arrowfield-bred daughter Crafty unwound a terrific finish, this time at the end of 2000 metres in Saturday’s $750,000 MRC Caulfield Classic G3. Once again, she was beaten a neck by her classy stablemate Fontein Ruby, but this time she was the runner-up, almost a length ahead of the colt Firehouse Rock.

Trained by Robert Smerdon for Qatar Bloodstock, and a stakeswinner last season, Crafty gives every sign of being well-suited by the 2500 metres of the VRC Oaks G1 for which she is the early favourite.

Light Up Manhattan, trained by Ciaron Maher, filled fourth position in the Caulfield Classic, the same place he occupied in Listed company over 1800 metres on 4 October.  However, this time the Victoria Derby contender finished much closer and his jockey Hugh Bowman said, “Very good run. He’ll enjoy getting to Flemington.”

Once again, a half-neck margin separated the Mick Price-trained Manhattan Avenue from Stratum Star, but this time it was Manhattan Avenue doing the chasing. The post came up just too soon for him in the $120,000 Gothic S. 1400m LR, but his determination under pressure was, once again, impressive.

Crafty, Light Up Manhattan, Manhattan Avenue are among Manhattan Rain’s five stakes performers, and Music Man, successful at Gosford on Sunday, took his tally of winners to eleven.

Life is Sweet at Caulfield

They were both born at Arrowfield in the Spring of 2010, just 21 days apart, and on Saturday they both scored tremendous Group victories at Caulfield.

The Snitzel-Flidais filly, bred by the Arrowfield & Jungle Pocket partnership, left the farm first. She travelled in January 2012 to the Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale where she was bought by her trainer Gai Waterhouse and James Harron Bloodstock for $240,000, making her Arrowfield’s top-priced filly of the sale.

The Not A Single Doubt-Dazzling Gazelle filly, bred by Teeley Assets, left about five weeks later to be broken in and sent to her first trainer Daniel Clarken in Adelaide.

The paths of the two fillies did not cross again until Saturday when they took major roles on an outstanding Caulfield Cup day.

The Snitzel filly, Sweet Idea began with her customary speed in the $200,000 MRC Tristarc S. 1400m G2 and controlled the pace, with Enquare and Catkins leading the chasing pack.  Sweet Idea’s familiar courage kicked in over the final stages and she proved too strong for the fast-finishing Girl Guide and the gallant Catkins, winning by almost a length in 1:25.42.

It was Sweet Idea’s fourth Group 2 success among her seven wins in a 17-start, $2 million career that began almost exactly two years ago when she won on debut at Randwick.  She is raced by the Gold Coast-based brothers David & Luke Henderson with Nick & Amy Vass, Wayne Cook, Danny Maher, Grant Scott, Campbell Brown, Beric Lynton, Gary & Graeme Diamond and Matt Allen.

As Sweet Idea’s jockey Tommy Berry  later tweeted, “She’s a star.” Sweet Idea is the leading earner this season for Snitzel, represented by four stakeswinners since 1 August and currently 7th on the Australian General Sires’ list with $1.6 million prizemoney.

Gai Waterhouse purchased Sweet Idea’s 2YO full sister, now named Sweet Sister, for $200,000 from Arrowfield at the 2014 Magic Millions Sale. Flidais also has a yearling filly and a colt foal by Snitzel and, not surprisingly, visits him again this Spring.

The Not A Single Doubt filly, Miracles Of Life made her season debut in the $200,000 MRC Caulfield Sprint 1100m G2 for her new owner Stonestreet Stables and new trainers Peter & Paul Snowden after being sold for $900,000 at the Teeley Dispersal Sale conducted by Magic Millions earlier this year.

Already a Group 1 Blue Diamond winner at two, and a Group 2 winner last season, the diminutive mare settled behind the speed and hit the front halfway down the straight, only to be challenged by Bel Sprinter.  Miracles of Life refused to concede, Bel Sprinter did not relent and the result was a spectacular dead-heat finish.

Peter Snowden said of Miracles Of Life, “I knew her size when she got to us but she’s strong. I’ve had plenty of small horses and it’s not how big they are, but it’s the ticker that counts.

“It was a matter of her wanting to do it and getting her back to that mindset. In her work, she’s always been brave and Hughie (Bowman) says she’s a dream to ride.”

Miracles Of Life’s sixth win from 13 starts takes her earnings beyond $1 million. She has also taken Not A Single Doubt past that mark for the season – he’s among Australia’s top 20 sires by prizemoney, and fourth by individual winners (37).

Dazzling Gazelle, also now owned by Stonestreet Stables, has a yearling colt by Not A Single Doubt and delivered a full sister to Miracles Of Life in August.