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.

Estelle inspires for Manhattan Rain

Seven stakes performers since 1 January have boosted Manhattan Rain’s profile among Australia’s Third Season Sires, and his pair of city winners last Saturday look capable of joining them.

First up was Inspired Estelle who opened the day at Sandown with a commanding victory in the 2YO fillies’ handicap over 1300 metres.

Drawn widest of the seven runners, Inspired Estelle was pushed forward to settle outside the early leader Montoya’s Secret. Jockey Dwayne Dunn sat quietly on her round the home turn and when he asked her to sprint 200 metres from home, she immediately kicked clear to score by 2.8 lengths from Montoya’s Secret with the favourite Kenedna (a three-quarter sister to Spill The Beans, by Not A Single Doubt) boxing on well from the rear to take third.

Watch Inspired Estelle win at Sandown.

Like her illustrious three-quarter brother Lankan Rupee, Inspired Estelle is trained by Mick Price for owner-breeder Teeley Assets which sold her mother Estelle Collection (by Stravinsky), in foal to Redoute’s Choice, for $1.4 million at the Teeley Dispersal two years ago. The resulting colt was bought for $1.8 million by Gai Waterhouse, Julian Blaxland and Nordic Racing & Breeding from the Coolmore draft at this year’s Inglis Easter Sale. 

Later in the afternoon, 3YO Manhattan Blues delivered the middle leg of a treble for trainers David Hayes & Tom Dabernig when he defeated older horses over 1250 metres at Morphettville in Adelaide.

It was a strong performance by the gelding, now a more furnished version of the scopey 2YO that won on debut and three starts later stormed home for fourth in Pride of Dubai’s Blue Diamond S. G1.  

Watch Manhattan Blues win at Morphettville.

A $20,000 Inglis Premier purchase by McEvoy Mitchell Racing, Manhattan Blues has now earned almost ten times that amount from three wins and three placings.

Manhattan Rain’s record since the New Year has been headed by his Group 2-winning juvenile daughter Scarlet Rain and six other stakes performers from all three of his active crops: 4YOs Boundary and Right Or Wrong, 3YOs Man Of Choice, Promise To Reign and Whisky Baron and 2YO Speeding Comet.

The South African-based 3YO Whisky Baron (ex Tazkara by dual Derby & Arc winner Sinndar) gets another chance to earn Group-winning status in the Kenilworth Winter Derby G3 on 25 June.

He finished second, beaten a half-length in both the Winter Guineas and the Winter Classic, and is likely to relish both the 2400 metres of the Derby and the absence of star 3YO Marinaresco, who will bypass the third leg in favour of the Durban July G1 on 2 July.

Breeders have recognised Manhattan Rain’s Danehill-free status and so, not surprisingly, five of his 16 stakes performers are from mares by Danehill sons Exceed and Excel (Scarlet Rain), Flying Spur (Moonovermanhattan & Right Or Wrong), Redoute’s Choice (Man Of Choice) and Danzero (Manhattan Avenue).

Manhattan Rain pours it on in 2015

Manhattan Rain has consolidated his chasing position on the Australian Second Season Sires’ list with five winners since New Year’s Day, three of them in city class.

The latest member of his first crop to shine is the Gai Waterhouse-trained filly Ondina whose scored an eye-catching win at her second start, over 1350 metres at Wyong on Thursday.

Ondina is the second foal of Mermaid Island (by Mujadil) and was bred by Dean Fleming who sold her under the Tyreel Stud banner for $40,000 at the 2013 Magic Millions National Yearling Sale. The buyer was Star Thoroughbreds and the filly’s owners include David Henderson, also a part-owner of Melbourne Cup winner Fiorente and multiple Group 2 winner Sweet Idea.

As Star Thoroughbreds suggests, Ondina’s early success suggests that more wins are in store for her.

Manhattan Rain’s year began when 3YO filly Wild Rain (ex North Flower by Rory’s Jester) graduated to metropolitan company at Moonee Valley on 3 January and followed up two weeks later with a third placing at Flemington.

Trainer Mark Kavanagh said of Wild Rain after her Moonee Valley win, “She’s a fast fllly, she obviously runs well here so we’ll see how we go, it will be nice to just take her through her grades.”

A day later Right Or Wrong broke his maiden by 3.8 lengths at his second start on the Sunshine Coast. From the Flying Spur mare Impulsive Lass, he’s bred on the same cross as Group 2 winner Moonovermanhattan.

Next up was a Saturday metropolitan double by 3YO Boundary and 2YO debutant Manhattan Blues on 10 January.

Boundary (ex One Dream by Danehill) has progressed quickly from her maiden win in November to win a 1400-metre event at Flemington on 10 January.  Trainer Heath Conners then sent her for a brief spell with a plan to set her for black type contests in the Autumn. He believes Boundary will be seen at her best when she steps up to 2000 metres.

Trainer Tony McEvoy now regrets not entering Manhattan Blues (ex Belle Feline by Tale of the Cat) for the Blue Diamond and the Golden Slipper. The chestnut gelding has thrived since defeating Karlovaso and Comprende over 1000 metres at Morphettville and has earned a run in Monday’s $120,000 MRC Blue Diamond Preview LR. 

McEvoy says, “He has really surprised me with the way he has come on. He hasn’t missed a beat this horse.

“He’s done everything we’ve asked him to do, so this [Monday’s run] will tell us a lot more about him and where he fits into things.”

This month’s results have pushed Manhattan Rain’s season earnings through the $1 million mark and he retains second position on the Second Season Sires’ list, behind I Am Invincible and just ahead of Turffontein.

The Group 1-winning son of Encosta de Lago has 10 yearlings catalogued for next month’s Inglis Classic Sale, including a colt and a filly in the Arrowfield draft, and nine lots in the Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale. That group also features a colt and a filly consigned by Arrowfield.

Click here for the upcoming Arrowfield Yearling Sale drafts.