Promise To Reign on target for Classic test

Brendan & Jo Lindsay’s Manhattan Rain filly Promise To Reign passed her first stakes test with distinction when she split Mime and the favourite Capella in Saturday $100,000 Waikato RC Sir Tristram Fillies Classic 2000m G2.

Watch Promise To Reign’s 2nd in the Sir Tristram Fillies Classic G2.

Only the win would have made trainer Moira Murdoch happier with Promise To Reign’s performance, and jockey Leith Innes believes the track condition was all that beat her. 

Moira says, “We’re all very proud of her, Brendan was beside himself with delight and Leith felt she would have won if the track had been firm.

“She’s a slightly built filly but she’s a thriver, and tough as nails. She’ll be a nice mare for Melbourne in the Spring.”

Promise To Reign has a little more work to do before her winter spell, in the Sunline Vase G3 at Ellerslie on 5 March and then the $300,000 New Zealand Oaks G1 at Trentham on 19 March. That’s the race she has been aimed at all season and her trainer is confident she will cope with the 2400-metre Classic.

“She’s a great settler, just drops the bit and goes to sleep, and she has a tremendous turn of foot.”

Murdoch, famous in Australia as the trainer of 1994 Cox Plate winner Solvit, prepares Promise To Reign for Brendan & Jo Lindsay whose agent John Foote bought the filly for $270,000 from the Arrowfield draft at the 2014 Inglis Easter Sale. It’s been a good week for graduates of that consignment, with Rekindled Effort (Redoute’s Choice-Rekindled Applause) winning on debut at Pakenham for Paul Messara, and Diego Kosta (Charge Forward-Joy Ride) successful in Hong Kong for John Size.

Promise To Reign was bred by Cloros Bloodstock and Arrowfield from the El Prado mare Certain Promise a sister to French Group 1 winner Spanish Moon and Royal Ascot Group 2 winner Spanish Sun. The family’s many fine middle-distance performers include Flintshire, a Group 1 winner in France, Hong Kong & the United States.

Certain Promise has a 2YO colt by Smart Missile with Star Thoroughbreds, a yearling filly by Animal Kingdom and a weanling filly by Smart Missile. The mare is in foal to Olympic Glory.

On this side of the Tasman, Manhattan Rain has the talented juvenile filly Scarlet Rain, progressive 4YO Right Or Wrong (winner of his last two starts in Brisbane) and 3YO debut winner Always all boosting his team for the Autumn.  His leading earner so far this season, the smart sprinter Wild Rain, is spelling after her excellent second to Husson Eagle in the Magic Millions Sprint.

Fourth on the current Third Season Sires’ list, Manhattan Rain has two colts and a filly in the upcoming Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale, and five colts in the Inglis Easter Sale, including Arrowfield’s colt from Lankan Rupee’s sister Charming Estelle.

Manhattan Rain delivers on Promise

A smart maiden winner by Manhattan Rain promises to give him another runner in a major Classic over the next couple of months.

Trainer Moira Murdoch has held a good opinion of Promise To Reign for some time now and the 3YO filly justified her confidence with a strong win over 1600m at Te Rapa in New Zealand.

Watch Promise To Reign’s win at Te Rapa.

Promise To Reign was a $270,000 purchase from Arrowfield’s 2014 Inglis Easter draft by John Foote for Brendan & Jo Lindsay and has been handled with all the patience required to develop an Oaks filly.

Murdoch indicated after Wednesday’s win that the $300,000 New Zealand Oaks G1 on 19 March was the filly’s main target this Autumn, with the Sir Tristram Fillies Classic G2 on 13 February her most likely next start.

Promise To Reign was bred by Matt & Jo Cloros and Arrowfield from the winning El Prado mare Certain Promise, a full sister to French Group 1 winner Spanish Moon and Royal Ascot Group 2 winner Spanish Sun. There’s plenty of top-class European middle-distance form in the pedigree, most notably contributed by Flintshire whose gallant Arc second earned him an international rating of 123, surpassed only by Golden Horn & Treve among the world’s best 2400-metre turf performers of 2015.

Certain Promise has a 2YO colt by Smart Missile in the Star Thoroughbreds stable, a yearling filly by Animal Kingdom for this year’s Inglis Easter Sale and a filly foal by Smart Missile.

Manhattan Rain has already shown he’s capable of leaving serious Classic contenders including Moonovermanhattan (Moonee Valley Vase G2), Light Up Manhattan (4th, Victoria Derby G1), Man of Choice (2nd, Spring Champion S. G1), Manapine & Crafty.  However, he was classy enough himself to win at Group 1 level at two, then run second in the Cox Plate at three and he’s building a similar range of achievement as a sire.  

His 4YO daughter Wild Rain is something of a 1000-metre specialist, winning in Melbourne Listed company at that distance and finding only Husson Eagle too strong for her in the 1100-metre Magic Millions Sprint on 9 January. The Mick Price-trained 3YO gelding Twisting Typhoon showed similar zip when winning his debut at Sandown on 2 December, followed a month later by a Saturday third placing over 1200m at Moonee Valley.

Manhattan Rain has also had two city winners, both of them Arrowfield graduates, from four 2YO starters this season: Darby Racing’s filly Scarlet Rain (ex Double Ranga) who lines up again at Randwick this Saturday, and Speeding Comet (ex Brazen Hussey), first & second in his two starts in Perth.

These performances have not been lost on buyers who paid an average of $123,333 – almost five times his 2013 fee – for six lots by the son of Encosta de Lago at the Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale. All but one were sold in Book 1 and four of them made $130,000 (2 lots), $160,000 and $230,000.

That top price of $230,000 was achieved by Turangga Farm for their filly out of Convene, a half-sister to Group 1 winner Headway. She was purchased by Shadwell Australasia; other Manhattan Rain yearling buyers included Gai Waterhouse (trainer of Scarlet Rain) & Julian Blaxland, and Lindsay Park Racing.

Manhattan Rain is also proving a valuable outcross option because, unlike his illustrious big brother Redoute’s Choice, he does not have Danehill or Danzig in his pedigree. Mares by stallions from that dominant line have already left Group 2 winner Moonovermanhattan, Group 1-placed Man Of Choice, stakeswinner Manapine, stakes-placed Manhattan Avenue & Right Or Wrong and city winners Boundary, Long Face Grace, Manna Trust & Scarlet Rain.

Manhattan Rain has 8 lots catalogued for the Inglis Classic Sale including two colts & a filly in the Arrowfield draft, and three fillies and two colts in the Inglis Melbourne Premier catalogue, among them Arrowfield’s daughter of Group-placed city winner Simply Put.

Sassy first stakeswinner for Smart Missile

Te Akau Racing’s 2YO filly Sassy ‘N’ Smart has given her sire Smart Missile a fairytale start as his first runner & winner, and now first stakeswinner with a dominant victory in Saturday’s $50,000 CJC Welcome S. 1000m LR.

An impressive debut winner three weeks ago at Riccarton, Sassy ‘N’ Smart jumped more promptly today for jockey Matt Cameron, sat just off the pace and put the result beyond doubt with a decisive turn of foot. She won by 2.75 lengths from What Choux Want and Dontpokethetiger (by Beneteau) in 57.41.

Watch Sassy ‘N’ Smart’s CJC Welcome S. LR win.

Sassy ‘N’ Smart was part of a splendid day for the new training partnership of Stephen Autridge & Jamie Richards, who turned out four winners on Riccarton’s marquee day, including Risque, successful in the NZ 1000 Guineas G1 for The Oaks Stud.

Sassy ‘N’ Smart was bred by Matt & Jo Cloros with Arrowfield and purchased for $150,000 by Te Akau Racing from the Arrowfield Stud draft at the 2015 Inglis Easter Sale. 

She is the second foal of the US-bred mare Panorama Ridge (by Empire Maker), a daughter of French Oaks G1 winner Nebraska Tornado. Panorama Ridge also has a 3YO son King’s Choice (by Redoute’s Choice) in the Hawkes stable, a yearling colt by Redoute’s Choice, a colt foal by Snitzel and is once again in foal to Snitzel.

Sassy ‘N’ Smart’s stakes victory sealed a good week for Smart Missile, also represented by a pair of strong trial winners last Tuesday, the colt Jericho at Rosehill for Triple Crown Syndications, and the filly Strike For Victory at Hobart for Prime Thoroughbreds.

Smart Missile has 37 yearlings on offer at the 2016 Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale, ten of them in the Arrowfield draft.

First runner, first winner for Smart Missile

First season sire Smart Missile posted his first winner when debutante Sassy ‘N’ Smart scored in dashing style on Saturday at the Riccarton Park metropolitan meeting in New Zealand.

The 2YO filly’s performance was all the more impressive because she missed the start by three lengths, then quickly closed the gap on the field, challenged the leader, last-start winner What Choux Want and pressed on to win by three-quarters of a length. Lord Ascot was three lengths away in third place. Sassy ‘N’ Smart winning time for the 800-metre trip was 45.99 on the Good3 track.

Watch Smart ‘N’ Sassy’s debut win.

Sassy “N’ Smart was bred by Matt & Jo Cloros with Arrowfield and purchased for $150,000 by Te Akau Racing from the Arrowfield Stud draft at the Inglis Easter Sale. 

She is the second foal of the US-bred mare Panorama Ridge (by Empire Maker), a daughter of dual French Group 1 winner Nebraska Tornado. Panorama Ridge also has a 3YO son King’s Choice (by Redoute’s Choice) in the Hawkes stable, a yearling colt by Redoute’s Choice, and a colt foal by Snitzel.