Manhattan Rain's sunny weekend

Good performances were noted on Saturday by four members of Manhattan Rain’s 2012 crop: Sunny Fame in Queensland, Manhattan Blues in Melbourne, Man Of Choice in Sydney and Promise to Reign at Hastings in New Zealand. 

Sunny Fame has taken time to mature, but put it all together at his second start this season to score an emphatic maiden victory over 1200 metres on the Gold Coast. 

Watch Sunny Fame win at the Gold Coast.

It’s been a good month in Sydney for Sunny Fame’s Murwillumbah trainer Matthew Dunn, who has also ventured south to pick up two $60,000 Highway Handicaps with Quatronic and, on Saturday, Hanwritten. 

Sunny Fame, a $52,500 Magic Millions National Sale buy, is a grandson of Caulfield Cup winner Mannerism, out of her Fastnet Rock daughter Point Piper, who foaled a colt by Olympic Glory on 14 September. 

David Hayes noted in his stable preview that Manhattan Blues had drawn an inside barrier in the 1200-metre handicap at Caulfield, so might have a chance to race closer to the pace than in his previous two starts.

That’s how it turned out, but it wasn’t quite enough to overcome Chase The Horizon’s three-kilo advantage, so Manhattan Blues (ex Belle Feline by Tale Of The Cat) had to settle for a well-fought second. He’s raced every month since March for two wins and three placings and, if the spelling paddock doesn’t beckon, another win soon would not surprise.

Over in New Zealand, at the premier Hawke’s Bay meeting, Arrowfield graduate Promise To Reign made her season debut over 1400 metres. Twice Group-placed and fifth in the New Zealand Oaks G1 last season, she predictably did her best work late to finish a pleasing fourth, less than three lengths from the winner.

The VRC Matriarch S. G2 over 2000 metres on 5 November is one option being considered for her this campaign.

Promise To Reign was a $270,000 Inglis Easter purchase by John Foote for Brendan & Jo Lindsay and is trained by Moira & Kieran Murdoch. Her dam Certain Promise (by El Prado) has a 3YO colt and a yearling filly by Smart Missile, a 2YO filly by Animal Kingdom and is due to foal to Olympic Glory this Spring.

Arguably the best of the four runs was that of Man Of Choice (ex Moonsong by Redoute’s Choice), who made light of his 61.5 kg topweight to fly home for third over 1200 metres behind Denpurr and Torpenhow, after being badly held up until the last 100 metres.

Watch Man of Choice (Green, White Crossed Sashes) finish 3rd at Randwick
.

Like Promise To Reign, Man Of Choice was making his season debut after excellent Group placings last term, including a third in Vanbrugh’s ATC Spring Champion S. G1. His progress for trainer Luke Price will be worth following, especially as he tackles longer distances.

This quartet will soon be joined by promising New Zealand-based 3YO Manhattan Street set to travel to Melbourne on Wednesday for a tilt at the $200,000 MVRC Stutt S. 1600m G2 on 30 September. A Listed winner at the end of his 2YO season, Manhattan Street was a close second in the Wanganui Guineas LR earlier this month, and is nominated for October’s Caulfield Guineas G1.

The Teeley Assets-bred colt is, like Man Of Choice, out of a Redoute’s Choice mare – in his case, Charming Estelle, a full sister to Australian Horse of the Year Lankan Rupee.

Manhattan Rain has already recorded his first stakeswinner this season, the classy sprinting mare Wild Rain, winner of the MVRC Ian McEwen S. G2 earlier this month.

Two Choices for Victoria Derby

New stakeswinner Extra Choice and Spring Champion placegetter Man Of Choice add a thread of sibling sire rivalry to the many stories leading to the $1.5 million AAMI Victoria Derby G1 on 31 October.

Redoute’s Choice will be represented by Wednesday’s $120,000 Geelong Classic LR winner Extra Choice who found the 2200-metre distance very much to his liking.

Wearing blinkers for the first time, he was ridden by Ben Melham who managed to slide him quickly from gate 10 over to the fence, a little worse than midfield where he enjoyed a clear run. He came wide around the home turn, but had the space to maintain his momentum and attack the leaders, then finish strongly to score by three-quarters of a length from Jadeer and Pay Up Bro.  

Watch Extra Choice win the Geelong Classic LR.

Extra Choice, his champion sire’s 126th stakeswinner, has really found his feet this campaign which began with two wins at Pakenham over 1200 & 1400 metres before two unplaced but excusable runs in stakes company at Caulfield on 26 September, and at Flemington on 4 October.

Co-trainer David Hayes says, “Extra Choice always showed a good amount of class, and a lovely action from the moment that we started working him, he was just a bit immature in his first preparation.

“Now that he is a bit more seasoned I think he is a legitimate VRC Derby contender. I expect he will get even better when he turns four.”

Extra Choice was bred by Rochelle & the late Don McLaren and purchased for $60,000 by Mark Pilkington from the Haunui Farm draft at the 2014 New Zealand Bloodstock Ready To Run Sale. His stakes-winning dam Bonaichi (by Fusaichi Pegasus) is a daughter of Group 1 winner Bonanova from a branch of the Eight Carat family that has also left Group winners Sheer Talent and Kittens to Redoute’s Choice.

The gelding is raced by Hayes and Pilkington, with Darren Thomas, Cameron Fisher, Ross McGrath and a syndicate of 40 people whose investment in Extra Choice has been funded by their wonderful veteran campaigner and $1.4 million earner Extra Zero (by Danzero).

Manhattan Rain’s son Man Of Choice will head straight to the Victoria Derby after his excellent second to Vanbrugh in the ATC Spring Champion S. G1 on 10 October.

His trainer Luke Price is well aware of how difficult Flemington’s 2500-metre Classic can be for young horses so early in the season, but believes Man Of Choice can cope with the physical and mental demands of the race.

He says, “He’s such a big, laidback fellow, so willing to work with you, and he’s improved so much from his first preparation. He’s a genuine 3YO stayer.”

Bred by Bob Guth and Nick Curtis, Man Of Choice is out of the Melbourne winner Moonsong, a daughter of Redoute’s Choice from the family of Group 1 winners Ofcourseican & Gimmethegreenlight and Group-winning fillies Gregers & Girl Guide.

The 2×3 inbreeding to Shantha’s Choice achieved by sending a Redoute’s Choice mare to Manhattan Rain has so far produced 11 named foals and four of the current 7 runners have won. Manhattan Rain’s first-crop son Light Up Manhattan was fourth in last year’s Victoria Derby.

Man Of Choice was offered under the Newhaven Park banner at the 2014 Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale and bought for $60,000 by Andrew Rose who races the gelding with his fiancee Korinne Gouriou, Ken Smith, Tazzy & Patricia Pirina, Hinnerk Hueppe & Fabian Welk.

Spring Champion tilt for Man Of Choice

The $500,000 ATC Spring Champion S. G1 on 10 October is the destination of Manhattan Rain’s promising 3YO son Man Of Choice after demolishing his rivals over 1600 metres at Kembla Grange last Saturday.

Man Of Choice settled fifth of seven runners, swung wide on the turn and took charge 200 metres from the post to score by almost 4 lengths in a time of 1:36.32, running his last 600 metres in 33.41. It was the gelding’s second win from 5 starts.

Trainer Luke Price now plans to start Man Of Choice in the 1800-metre ATC Gloaming S. G3 at Rosehill on 26 September, then the Spring Champion at Randwick two weeks later.

Price said, “He had to come here today and do what he did, but he did it more impressively even than I thought he was going to.

“He raced a bit fresh still but that was the three weeks between runs. He will go to the Spring Champion after the Gloaming if all is going well.

“He is a horse that only does what he has to, so to see him come here today and and put a gap on them really impressed me. I am pretty stoked.”

Bred by Bob Guth and Nick Curtis, Man Of Choice is out of the Melbourne winner Moonsong, a daughter of Redoute’s Choice from the family of Group 1 winners Ofcourseican & Gimmethegreenlight and Group-winning fillies Gregers & Girl Guide.

Man Of Choice was offered under the Newhaven Park banner at the 2014 Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale and bought for $60,000 by part-owner Andrew Rose.

Manhattan Rain was Australia’s joint leading Second Season Sire by stakeswinners and fourth on the earnings list with almost $2 million.

 

Choice win by Manhattan Rain 2YO

The Spring prospects for Manhattan Rain’s son Man of Choice look bright after his excellent win at Kembla Grange on Saturday.

Jockey Peter Wells settled the 2YO gelding settled at the rear of the field, sent him forward before the turn and lined him up as the widest of the 13 runners at the top of the straight. Man of Choice picked up impressively to win by almost a half-length from Republican and the dead-heaters Credit Card Miss & More Than Fabulous. 

Watch Man of Choice’s debut win here.

It was Man of Choice’s second run for trainer Luke Price after a debut fifth at Warwick Farm in March behind Redzel and Japonisme who won at Rosehill on Saturday.

Bred by Bob Guth and Nick Curtis, Man of Choice is out of the Melbourne winner Moonsong, a daughter of Redoute’s Choice from the family of Group 1 winners Ofcourseican & Gimmethegreenlight and Group-winning fillies Gregers & Girl Guide.

The opportunity for a 2×3 double-up of Shantha’s Choice through her sons Manhattan Rain and Redoute’s Choice has been taken by a number of breeders and three of 7 runners bred that way have so far won: Man of Choice & 3YO filly Manhattan Moon in Australia and 2YO colt Platinum Dragon in New Zealand. 

Man of Choice was offered under the Newhaven Park banner at the 2014 Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale and bought for $60,000 by Andrew Rose who also races Group 1 winner Almalad. Man of Choice is among the first acceptances for the new season’s first Group 1 3YO race, the $1 million ATC Golden Rose Stakes on 12 September.

Manhattan Rain has two other first acceptors for that race, the unraced gelding Moonlight Rain from the Gillian Heinrich stable, and the filly Manhattan Fever, who has had one run for Team Hawkes.

With 32 winners (including three stakeswinners) and $1.8 million prizemoney, Manhttan Rain is among Australia’s top five 2nd Season sires in 2014/15.