Manhattan Rain moves up Second Season Sires' list

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.

The Manhattan Rains pour it on at Flemington

Top four finishes by Manhattan Rain’s three stakes runners on Turnbull Stakes Day at Flemington showed their readiness for upcoming Spring Classic engagements.

Qatar Bloodstock’s filly Crafty (ex Spirited Dancer by Sadler’s Wells) powered home for third, beaten only a head and a short head by her game stablemate Fontein Ruby and the favourite Maastricht in the $200,000 VRC Edward Manifold S. 1600m G2.

Crafty settled near the rear of the field, making ground around the turn and doing her best work over the final 600 metres, running it in 34.09, faster than both the winner and the runner-up.  “A very good run” was jockey Craig Williams’ summation of Crafty’s effort.

Already the winner of the VRC Gibson Carmichael S. LR as a late 2YO, Crafty’s principal Spring target is the $1 million VRC Oaks G1 on 6 November.

The Mick Price-trained colt Manhattan Avenue (ex Tizzy May by Danzero) settled fifth on the rail in the $120,000 VRC Yellowglen Vintage S. 1400m LR, then pushed forward between horses soon after the turn and hit the lead 200 metres from the post. Stratum Star emerged quickly behind him and caught him just short of the post to win by a half-neck, with two lengths to Kapset in third place.

Light Up Manhattan (ex Luminata by Zabeel) was sixth during the running of the $120,000 UCI S. 1800m LR and galloped home staunchly for fourth, though well behind the first three. He and Manhattan Avenue are both nominated for the $1.5 million Victoria Derby G1 on 1 November.

Manhattan Rain now has 5 stakes performers from his first crop, headed by Group 3 winner Moonovermanhattan, second in the MVRC Stutt S. G2 on 26 September and also a Derby contender.

Rain, rain, rain for Flemington on Saturday

Don’t panic, this isn’t the weather forecast for Flemington – Saturday is going to be warm and sunny.  Instead, it marks the start of what may be a very exciting Spring Carnival for a promising second season sire.

Manhattan Rain has not one, but three runners, all of them Inglis sale graduates, in black type races at Flemington on Saturday. Better still, their trainers all have bigger targets on their Spring programmes.

Light Up Manhattan (ex Luminata by Zabeel) will take his place in the Listed VRC UCI Stakes over 1800 metres fresh from his maiden win on 21 September.

He was bought initially by Peter Clarke from the Supreme Thoroughbreds draft at the 2013 Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale, and was twice stakes-placed at two, including a half-length second to Merion in the VRC Anzac Day S. LR.

Trainer Ciaron Maher and a group of owners led by Colin McKenna (also owner of Girl Guide and Gregers) purchased Light Up Manhattan after that preparation specifically as a Victoria Derby prospect.

Maher says, “He’s very scopey and clean-winded, with a lovely temperament and he’s still learning his craft so I’ve trained him quite softly. I’m starting to screw him down now, so he should improve further out the back of Saturday’s race.

“He’ll go to the Spring Champion Stakes, and then if he needs another run, the Caulfield Classic before the Derby. He’s a massive-striding horse and the distance and the big open track at Flemington will suit him.”

Mick Price will saddle up the talented Manhattan Avenue for the 3YO sprint race at Flemington, the Listed Yellowglen Vintage Stakes over 1400 metres.

Placed at two, he broke his maiden at his second start this season, defeating subsequent Caulfield winner Firehouse Rock. Manhattan Avenue  ran off in that race on 20 September, but trialled without a problem around the course on Tuesday.

Interviewed by Shane Anderson on Radio Sport National on Friday morning, Price said,  “He’s a nice horse…he might end up in the Carbine Club and the Sandown Guineas if he trains on. He’ll run well, but I just think a mile will be better for him.”

Manhattan Avenue (ex Tizzy May by Danzero) was also offered at the Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale, where Price bought him from Northern Lodge Stud.

The Arrowfield-bred filly Crafty runs for Qatar Bloodstock in the Group 2 VRC Edward Manifold Stakes over 1600 metres. She won the Listed Gibson Carmichael Stakes at the same course and distance in July, and judging by his interview with Radio Sport National on Thursday morning, trainer Robert Smerdon clearly has his eye on her VRC Oaks nomination.

“She ran on well from the back after drawing wide at Caulfield last start [on 20 September] but hasn’t fared too much better at the barrier on Saturday, so I suspect she’s going to be a fair way off them at some stage, and maybe she’s got to get out over a longer trip before we see her to best advantage.”

From the Sadler’s Wells mare Spirited Dancer, Crafty is a half-sister to Lunar Rise (VRC Carbine Club S. G3) and was a $150,000 purchase by David Redvers from Arrowfield at the 2013 Inglis Easter Sale. 

Manhattan Rain heads the Australian Second Season Sires’ table by winners with a total of six, and is already the sire of two stakeswinners, Crafty and Moonovermanhattan, also a fine second in last weekend’s MVRC Stutt S. G2, and on the second line of betting for the Victoria Derby G1.

A winning week for Manhattan Rain

It’s been a very good week for second season sire Manhattan Rain, with three winners in eight days, most recently Manna Trust at Mornington on Wednesday.

Trained by David Weir for a syndicate managed by Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock, Manna Trust went into the $25,000 1200-metre maiden with placings at Donald and Swan Hill. Jockey Ben Melham settled him midfield, peeled out round the turn and sent him forward in the straight where he knuckled down to fight it out with the favourite Vienna Prince (by Snitzel) for a game, half-head win.

Manna Trust was a $90,000 purchase from Musk Creek Farm at the 2013 Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale, and Musk Creek’s David Kobritz & Teresa Poon are among his large group of owners. 

Manna Trust’s dam Entrust (by Danehill) is a city-winning half-sister to Singapore champion Big Maverick.

Manhattan Rain’s owner-breeder Muzaffar Yaseen enjoyed his first success with the Group 1 winner’s progeny when the filly Democrat Queen scored over 1600 metres at Echuca on Saturday. Trained by Mick Price, she is the first runner and winner for her dam Zodiac Queen (by King’s Best), a six-time winner in Adelaide and also dam of a Manhattan Rain yearling colt.

Zodiac Queen, again in foal to Manhattan Rain, was purchased by Blandford Bloodstock at the Teeley Dispersal in May this year.

The Mick Price stable also produced the gelding Manhattan Avenue (ex Tizzy May by Danzero) for a comfortable win at Bendigo on 10 September, and Moonovermanhattan (ex Lunapur by Flying Spur) who put up a staunch effort for fourth in last Saturday’s VRC Living Legends S. LR.

Manhattan Avenue, accepted for this Saturday’s Inglis Ready2Race Sale Bonus race at Caulfield, and Moonovermanhattan, a Group 3 winner last season, are both among the nominations for the Caulfield Guineas G1 on 11 October.

Manhattan Rain’s daughter Crafty, also a stakeswinner last season, makes her 3YO debut over 1400 metres at this Saturday’s Caulfield meeting, and is nominated for the Thousand Guineas G1.

Smart winner for Manhattan Rain

Manhattan Rain’s 3YO son Manhattan Avenue made the step up to 1500 metres look easy at Bendigo today, winning by 1.8 lengths at his fourth career outing.

Manhattan Avenue jumped smartly for Craig Newitt and faced the breeze until Malibu took the lead, leaving Manhattan Avenue to settle nicely in second place on the fence.

Newitt waited until the top of the straight to drive the gelding forward and he kicked strongly to hold out the fast-finishing Justaway and Firehouse Rock.

Manhattan Avenue (ex Tizzy May by Danzero) was sold by his breeder Northern Lodge Stud for $80,000 to trainer Mick Price at the 2013 Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale. Tizzy May is a three-quarter sister to Queensland Oaks G1 winner Miss Danehill, and half-sister to Group 2 winner & multiple Group 1 performer Pentastic.

Manhattan Rain’s first-crop winners also include last season’s juvenile stakeswinners Moonovermanhattan (SAJC National S. G3) and Crafty (VRC Taj Rossi Series Final LR).