Manhattan Rain's new Group performer

3YO colt Whisky Baron joined Manhattan Rain’s steadily growing list of stakes performers when he was runner-up, beaten less than a half-length, in Saturday’s Kenilworth Winter Guineas 1600m G3 in South Africa.

The race is the first leg of the Cape Winter Series that has unveiled several outstanding horses over the past decade, notably champion Pocket Power who won all three legs in 2006, the great miler Variety Club, and Power King, who progressed to win last year’s Durban July Handicap G1.

In this year’s Guineas, Whisky Baron launched what looked like a late winning challenge, but he was caught by the favourite Marinaresco, whose previous third in the 2000-metre Kenilworth Cape Derby G1 suggests he’ll relish the remaining two legs of the R1 million Series. Those races are the Winter Classic 1800m G3 on 21 May and the Winter Derby 2400m G3 on 25 June.

Whisky Baron, a $50,000 Craig Roscoe & Joey Ramsden purchase from Arrowfield’s 2014 Inglis Easter draft, broke his maiden in January and has been placed in his other five starts (all at Kenilworth) this season. He hasn’t raced beyond 1600 metres yet, but his pedigree offers good evidence that he’ll also be effective at longer distances.

His unraced dam Tazkara, by the dual Derby and Arc winner Sinndar, is a grand-daughter of Tashtiya (by Shergar), winner of the 1983 Ascot Princess Royal S. G3 over the equivalent of 2400 metres. All four of Tazkara’s Australian-bred foals to race have won, with Flying Force (by Flying Spur) already successful at 2200 metres.

Manhattan Rain’s own versatility as a racehorse is showing up in his stud record too. This season alone he has been represented by smart juveniles Scarlet Rain (3 wins inc. the ATC Sweet Embrace S. G2) & Speeding Comet (a stakes-placed winner in Perth), stakes-winning 4YO sprinter Wild Rain, Brisbane miler Right Or Wrong and 3YOs Man Of Choice & Promise To Reign, placed in Group 1 & Group 2 company over 2000 metres.

The son of Encosta De Lago now claims six stakeswinners and 10 other stakes performers from his first three crops, with nine of them successful or competitive at Group level.  

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