For second season sire Manhattan Rain, Caulfield Cup day was something of a groundhog experience, with three of his talented 3YOs almost exactly repeating their stakes performances at Flemington two weeks ago.
However, their latest efforts were rewarded with more prizemoney, enough to elevate Manhattan Rain to the No. 2 spot on the Australian Second Season Sires’ list where he splits Turffontein and Medaglia d’Oro. Manhattan Rain’s season earnings now total $432,640.
Once again, his Arrowfield-bred daughter Crafty unwound a terrific finish, this time at the end of 2000 metres in Saturday’s $750,000 MRC Caulfield Classic G3. Once again, she was beaten a neck by her classy stablemate Fontein Ruby, but this time she was the runner-up, almost a length ahead of the colt Firehouse Rock.
Trained by Robert Smerdon for Qatar Bloodstock, and a stakeswinner last season, Crafty gives every sign of being well-suited by the 2500 metres of the VRC Oaks G1 for which she is the early favourite.
Light Up Manhattan, trained by Ciaron Maher, filled fourth position in the Caulfield Classic, the same place he occupied in Listed company over 1800 metres on 4 October. However, this time the Victoria Derby contender finished much closer and his jockey Hugh Bowman said, “Very good run. He’ll enjoy getting to Flemington.”
Once again, a half-neck margin separated the Mick Price-trained Manhattan Avenue from Stratum Star, but this time it was Manhattan Avenue doing the chasing. The post came up just too soon for him in the $120,000 Gothic S. 1400m LR, but his determination under pressure was, once again, impressive.
Crafty, Light Up Manhattan, Manhattan Avenue are among Manhattan Rain’s five stakes performers, and Music Man, successful at Gosford on Sunday, took his tally of winners to eleven.