Manhattan Rain matches stride with his sire

As Manhattan Rain approaches the end of his second season with runners, it’s enlightening to look at how his now-retired champion sire Encosta De Lago was travelling at the same stage of his career.

First two crops
of racing age


(2YO SW)

 All Stakes Performers

Encosta De Lago


4 (2)


Manhattan Rain


4 (2)


By July 2002 47% of Encosta De Lago’s first 111 runners had won, and four were stakeswinners in Melbourne, Adelaide & Tasmania: Group 3 winners Chong Tong, Gold Lottey & Lashed, and Listed winner Dragila. Another five horses had placed in stakes company among them Delago Brom, fourth in Bel Esprit’s 2002 Blue Diamond S. G1.

Manhattan Rain’s statistics are strikingly similar: 46% winners to runners, including four stakeswinners in Melbourne & Adelaide (Group 2 winner Moonovermanhattan and Listed winners Crafty – also Group 2-placed – Manapine & Ondina.)  Six other stakes performers include Manhattan Blues, second in the MRC Inglis 2YO Premier (R) LR and fourth in this year’s Blue Diamond.

It’s fair to say that Manhattan Rain is doing well to equal Encosta De Lago’s number of stakeswinners with only 71% of the runners his sire fielded in 2000/01 and 2001/02.

He has also equalled his sire’s tally of first-crop 2YO stakeswinners, with Moonovermanhattan (SAJC National S. G3) & Crafty (VRC Taj Rossi Series Final LR) both successful last season. Given that Manhattan Rain was himself a high-class Group 1-winning 2YO, he seems certain to leave his share of precocious horses.

However, like Dad, he has several strings to his bow. The 1000-2000m winning distance range of Encosta De Lago’s first nine stakes performers is matched by Manhattan Rain, and extended by his son Manapine, successful in the 2500-metre VRC Galilee Series Final LR. 

The general consensus is that Manhattan Rain’s progeny will appreciate a staying trip, an assessment supported by Manapine who looks a potential Cups horse, as well his first-crop Derby and Oaks horses Mooneovermanhattan, Light Up Manhattan and Crafty.

It is noteworthy that of the 27 $1 million+ Group 1 races held in Australia this season, 17 were run at 1600 metres or further, and seven of the country’s 10 richest races were run in the 2000m-3200m range.

Although Manhattan Rain’s winners are almost evenly distributed between the sexes at this stage, seven of his 10 stakes performers are colts or geldings. The gender distribution of Encosta De Lago’s winners was similarly even 13 years ago, but his early stakes-performed daughters out-numbered his sons, 6 to three. 

As so often happens, this levelled out in subsequent seasons and Encosta De Lago now claims 58 stakes-winning sons to 48 stakes-winning daughters.

Manhattan Rain shares his sire’s Danehill-free status and breeders have reasons to be confident about his affinity with mares by the supersire and his sons. Moonovermanhattan and recent stakes performer Right Or Wrong are both out of Flying Spur mares and the dam of Group 3-placed Manhattan Avenue is by Danzero.

More evidence is supplied by Encosta De Lago’s record. He’s left 15 stakeswinners to Danehill-line mares, and his daughters have produced 14 stakeswinners to Danehill’s sons, five of them to Manhattan Rain’s celebrated half-brother Redoute’s Choice.

Interestingly, Northern Meteor (by Encosta De Lago) has left multiple Group 1 winners Zoustar from a Redoute’s Choice mare, and Cosmic Endeavour from a Danehill mare.

History provides a few final hints for breeders still considering their options for the coming Spring.

The 2001/02 list of Australian Second Season Sires included two future champion stallions, but neither of them headed the table. Waikato Stud’s outstanding sire O’Reilly, with only 17 Australian runners that season, was 21st on the list, and Encosta De Lago was the runner-up to Strategic, whose best performer that year was top-class 3YO Mistegic, winner of The Galaxy G1 and three Group 2 races.

Encosta De Lago served his sixth book of mares in 2002 at a fee of $22,000 inc. GST. A year later his fee was $38,500, rising to $132,000 in 2005 and staying at six figures for the following half-dozen seasons.

At his 2015 fee of $16,500 inc. GST Manhattan Rain is an excellent option for Danehill-line mares in particular and, like his sire in 2002, there’s plenty of blue sky on the horizon.

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