Rain, rain, rain for Flemington on Saturday

Don’t panic, this isn’t the weather forecast for Flemington – Saturday is going to be warm and sunny.  Instead, it marks the start of what may be a very exciting Spring Carnival for a promising second season sire.

Manhattan Rain has not one, but three runners, all of them Inglis sale graduates, in black type races at Flemington on Saturday. Better still, their trainers all have bigger targets on their Spring programmes.

Light Up Manhattan (ex Luminata by Zabeel) will take his place in the Listed VRC UCI Stakes over 1800 metres fresh from his maiden win on 21 September.

He was bought initially by Peter Clarke from the Supreme Thoroughbreds draft at the 2013 Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale, and was twice stakes-placed at two, including a half-length second to Merion in the VRC Anzac Day S. LR.

Trainer Ciaron Maher and a group of owners led by Colin McKenna (also owner of Girl Guide and Gregers) purchased Light Up Manhattan after that preparation specifically as a Victoria Derby prospect.

Maher says, “He’s very scopey and clean-winded, with a lovely temperament and he’s still learning his craft so I’ve trained him quite softly. I’m starting to screw him down now, so he should improve further out the back of Saturday’s race.

“He’ll go to the Spring Champion Stakes, and then if he needs another run, the Caulfield Classic before the Derby. He’s a massive-striding horse and the distance and the big open track at Flemington will suit him.”

Mick Price will saddle up the talented Manhattan Avenue for the 3YO sprint race at Flemington, the Listed Yellowglen Vintage Stakes over 1400 metres.

Placed at two, he broke his maiden at his second start this season, defeating subsequent Caulfield winner Firehouse Rock. Manhattan Avenue  ran off in that race on 20 September, but trialled without a problem around the course on Tuesday.

Interviewed by Shane Anderson on Radio Sport National on Friday morning, Price said,  “He’s a nice horse…he might end up in the Carbine Club and the Sandown Guineas if he trains on. He’ll run well, but I just think a mile will be better for him.”

Manhattan Avenue (ex Tizzy May by Danzero) was also offered at the Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale, where Price bought him from Northern Lodge Stud.

The Arrowfield-bred filly Crafty runs for Qatar Bloodstock in the Group 2 VRC Edward Manifold Stakes over 1600 metres. She won the Listed Gibson Carmichael Stakes at the same course and distance in July, and judging by his interview with Radio Sport National on Thursday morning, trainer Robert Smerdon clearly has his eye on her VRC Oaks nomination.

“She ran on well from the back after drawing wide at Caulfield last start [on 20 September] but hasn’t fared too much better at the barrier on Saturday, so I suspect she’s going to be a fair way off them at some stage, and maybe she’s got to get out over a longer trip before we see her to best advantage.”

From the Sadler’s Wells mare Spirited Dancer, Crafty is a half-sister to Lunar Rise (VRC Carbine Club S. G3) and was a $150,000 purchase by David Redvers from Arrowfield at the 2013 Inglis Easter Sale. 

Manhattan Rain heads the Australian Second Season Sires’ table by winners with a total of six, and is already the sire of two stakeswinners, Crafty and Moonovermanhattan, also a fine second in last weekend’s MVRC Stutt S. G2, and on the second line of betting for the Victoria Derby G1.

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