No Long Faces around Grace

No Long Faces around Grace

No Long Faces around Grace

Syndicator Pacific Bloodstock hoped for a big showing from Long Face Grace at the first of Moonee Valley’s night meetings this season and that’s exactly what Manhattan Rain’s promising daughter delivered.

The 4YO mare stepped up to 1600 metres last Friday for the first time after her maiden win at Sandown last month and a second at Seymour on 9 September, both at 1400 metres. That form earned Long Face Grace favouritism in the Fillies & Mares Handicap which she justified with a narrow but strong win, defeating Billie Frechette by a half-head with 1.5 lengths further back to Bet You She Rocks.

Watch Long Face Grace win at Moonee Valley.

Out of the money only once in her six starts from the Mark Kavanagh stable, Long Face Grace was a $70,000 purchase by Pacific Bloodstock principal Mark Hoare from the 2013 Magic Millions draft of Ron & Deb Gilbert’s Highgrove Stud. 
 
The filly fitted Mark’s criteria. “I tend not to buy running two-year-olds, I prefer a bit of scope which she had and Mark [Kavanagh] liked her too.

“I liked Manhattan Rain given his pedigree and thought he had a chance, and of course, she had the Atlantic Jewel factor as well.”

Long Face Grace is the fifth foal of Retract (by Flying Spur), a city-winning half-sister to the dam of champion filly Atlantic Jewel and Group 1 winner Commanding Jewel.

However, things didn’t go smoothly for Long Face Grace during her early education, as Mark Hoare explains. “She was kicked in her paddock when she was being broken in and we nearly lost her. Mark and the stable have handled her very patiently, everything has been done at her pace and she’s starting to come into her own now.”

The next goal for Long Face Grace is the 1600-metre Ladies Day Vase G3, at Caulfield on 14 October but jockey Glen Boss, who has piloted the mare to both her wins, believes she will cope with 2000 metres and beyond as she progresses.

Manhattan Rain’s first crop has so far produced 36 winners including Group 2 winner Moonovermanhattan (also from a Flying Spur mare), Listed winners Manapine, Ondina, Crafty and Long Face Grace’s short-course sprinting stablemate Wild Rain.

Tags: Arrowfield, Highgrove Stud, Long Face Grace, Magic Millions, Manhattan Rain, Mark Hoare