Rain reigns in McEwen Stakes
Manhattan Rain’s brilliant daughter Wild Rain confirmed a Group 1 campaign when she took early control of Saturday’s $200,000 MVRC McEwen S. 1000m G2 and never let go, kicking clear in the straight to win by a length from Furnaces and the favourite Heatherly.
The keys to Wild Rain’s eight-win career are her consistent professionalism and serious pace – the kind of pace that puts early pressure on her rivals, finds a gear-change when challenged and keeps going until the job is done. Or, as trainer Mark Kavanagh explains, “When you are able to run quick sectionals like her, it makes it hard for those chasing her.”
Given that ability and Wild Rain’s five-start, three-win record at Moonee Valley, the $500,000 Moir S. G1 on 30 September is a reasonable goal for her and that is where she is now headed.
The McEwen Stakes, which honours Moonee Valley’s visionary administrator Ian McEwen, is Wilid Rain’s fourth stakes victory and her second at Group level, after her MRC Sir John Monash S. G3 win in July. The 5YO mare has returned five times the $150,000 Kavanagh bid for her at the 2013 Magic Millions Sale, where she was offered by Arrowfield on behalf the Stud’s long-standing partnership with John Leaver.
Wild Rain is the best of three winners left so far by North Flower (by Rory’s Jester), a 2YO-winning half-sister to the dam of champion and Horse of the Year Northerly, and a three-quarter sister of Group winners North Boy and Northern Song. North Flower has a a 2YO daughter, Desert Flower (by Animal Kingdom), in training with Paul Messara for the Arrowfield/Leaver partnership.
The Teeley Assets-bred colt Manhattan Street almost gave Manhattan Rain a trans-Tasman double on Saturday when he was narrowly beaten after a tremendous battle with possible Victoria Derby contender Highlad in the Wanganui Guineas LR. A 3YO son of Lankan Rupee’s sister Charming Estelle, Manhattan Street lost nothing in defeat, after three consecutive 2YO wins.
Wild Rain, Manhattan Street and a second 3YO colt, Tango Rain (2nd, ATC San Domenico S. G2), all give Manhattan Rain a great chance of making his mark on the Spring’s major prizes in Sydney and Melbourne.