First Group 1 winner for Manhattan Rain

Several boxes were ticked on Saturday when Whisky Baron scored a spectacular victory in South Africa’s richest race, the ~$500,000 Kenwilworth Sun Met 2000m G1.

The 4YO gelding a is a new Group 1 winner for Arrowfield’s Inglis Easter Sale honour roll; he’s the first Group 1winner for the Aga Khan Studs/Arrowfield joint venture; and the first Group 1 winner for his sire Manhattan Rain.

Whisky Baron showed promise as a 3YO when he won and was twice second in Group 3 company, but he has progressed more rapidly as this season as a gelding, winning all four of his starts before the Met, including the Kenilworth Peninsula H. G3 on 7 January.

The big finish he unwound to over-power Horse of the Year Legal Eagle and Group 1 winner Captain America and win the Sun Met by 1.5 lengths in 2:02.71 left no doubt that Whisky Baron, trained by Brett Crawford for brothers Craig & Ross Kieswetter, is South African racing’s newest star.

Watch Whisky Baron win the Sun Met G1.

A $50,000 purchase by Craig Roscoe & Joey Ramsden from Arrowfield’s 2014 Inglis Easter draft, Whisky Baron is the fourth foal of the unraced Sinndar mare Tazkara. Like this season’s debut 2YO stakeswinner Azazel, and a pair of $500,000 yearlings sold at Magic Millions three weeks ago, he is a result of the Aga Khan/Arrowfield joint venture.

He joins the excellent record of the Aga Khan foundation mare Tonnera, herself winner of the 1966 Prix St Alary G1 over 2000 metres, and ancestress of  European Group 1 2YO winners Arcano, Carlotamix and Damson.

Tazkara has a 3YO filly named Pretty Snitzel (by Snitzel) in training with Kelly Doughty on the Gold Coast and, after returning to France in 2014, foaled a second filly by Snitzel. Now a southern hemisphere 2YO, that filly will be prepared by leading French trainer Jean-Claude Rouget. Tazkara also has a yearling colt by Excelebration and is foaling to the speedy young Shadwell stallion Muhaarar (by Oasis Dream).

Whisky Baron is Manhattan Rain’s third stakeswinner this season, after Group 2-winning sprinter Wild Rain and brilliant juvenile She Will Reign, an early favourite for the Golden Slipper. His Group 2-winning daughter Scarlet Rain, who returned from a long break to win stylishly at Rosehill on Saturday, must be a fine chance of adding more black type to her record in coming weeks.

The Group 1-winning son of Encosta de Lago has a small number of yearlings catalogued for upcoming sales, including NZ Select, Inglis Classic, Premier & Easter and Magic Millions Adelaide. Manhattan Rain’s top-priced lot at Magic Millions Gold Coast was the $360,000 filly out of Double Ranga, a full sister to Scarlet Rain. Offered by Arrowfield, she was purchased by Wu Jae’s Rifa Mustang Pty Ltd.

Five yearlings by Redoute’s Choice & Animal Kingdom out of Aga Khan broodmares from the families of Vadawina, Azamour, Manighar and Mandistana will be offered by Arrowfield at the Inglis Easter Sale in April.

Fruitful season for Manhattan Rain

The 2016/17 season is certainly proving fruitful for Arrowfield’s quiet achiever Manhattan Rain, sire of quality Melbourne sprinter Wild Rain, Golden Slipper favourite She Will Reign and South African Group winner Whisky Baron.

Whisky Baron, unbeaten in four runs this season, earned himself a start in the ~$500,000 Sun Met 2000m G1 on South Africa’s richest raceday, 28 January, when he won the Kenilworth Peninsula H. 1800m G2 earlier this month.  He’s the ninth stakeswinner and one of 21 stakes performers from Manhattan Rain’s 155 runners.

The 4YO colt was bought for $50,000 by Craig Roscoe & Joey Ramsden from Arrowfield’s 2014 Inglis Easter draft and is trained by Brett Crawford for Craig & Ross Kieswetter whose family has recently purchased the long-established Highlands Stud in the Western Cape.

Like this season’s debut 2YO stakeswinner Azazel, Whisky Baron is a result of the Aga Khan/Arrowfield joint venture, which also sold a colt and a filly for $1 million at last week’s Magic Millions Sale.

His unraced dam Tazkara, by the dual Derby and Arc winner Sinndar, is a grand-daughter of Tashtiya (by Shergar), winner of the 1983 Ascot Princess Royal S. G3 over the equivalent of 2400 metres. All four of Tazkara’s Australian-bred foals to race have won, with Flying Force (by Flying Spur) successful at 2200 metres.

Tazkara has a 3YO filly named Pretty Snitzel (by Snitzel) in training with Kelly Doughty on the Gold Coast and, after returning to France in 2014, foaled a second filly by Snitzel. Now a southern hemisphere 2YO, that filly will be prepared by leading French trainer Jean-Claude Rouget. Tazkara also has a yearling colt by Excelebration and is in foal to the young Shadwell stallion Muhaarar (by Oasis Dream).

Other performers by Manhattan Rain this term include Greg & Donna Kolivos’ 3YO filly Gibraltar Girl (two-time winner in Sydney and stakes-placed in Brisbane); Brendan & Jo Lindsay’s 4YO mare Promise To Reign (Group-placed in New Zealand), Teeley Assets’ smart 3YO colt Tango Rain (second in Star Turn’s ATC San Domenico S. G3 ), city winners Mr Manhattan, New Summer Night & Sunny Fame and debut 2YO winner Aunt Liberty.

Arrowfield sold all three of Manhattan Rain’s yearlings at Magic Millions, notably the sister to Group 2 winner Scarlet Rain, bought by RIFA Mustang Pty Ltd for $360,000 – equalling her sire’s top price for a filly.

Manhattan Rain has three fillies and two colts catalogued for February’s Inglis Classic Sale, and a colt and a filly for the Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale later that month.

Manhattan Rain speedsters shine

A couple of good results over Australia’s Labour holiday weekend spotlighted Manhattan Rain’s ability to sire a very smart sprinter.

His 5YO daughter Wild Rain put up a career-best performance at Moonee Valley on Friday evening when she finished third, less than 1.5 lengths from the outstanding winner Extreme Choice, in the MVRC Moir S. G1, with Chautauqua and Buffering behind her.

Watch Wild Rain, 3rd, MVRC Moir S. G1 (blue silks with black & white checked sash and cap)

The mare’s jockey Stephen Baster confirmed the quality of her run. “She ran out of her skin. She had a beautiful run behind Buffering and on the turn, I thought we were a chance, so it’s a big effort to run third.”

Wild Rain has already won twice in Group company this campaign, taking her earnings close to $800,000 – a very tidy return on the $150,000 that trainer Mark Kavanagh gave for her at the 2013 Magic Millions Sale.

Bred in partnership with John Leaver and sold by Arrowfield Stud, she is the best of three winners left to date by North Flower (by Rory’s Jester), a winning relative of Hall of Famer Northerly and Group winners North Boy and Northern Song.  Wild Rain’s 2YO half-sister Desert Flower (by Animal Kingdom) is in training with Paul Messara, and North Flower visits Olympic Glory this Spring.

The Warwick Farm meeting on Monday was a few steps down the ladder, though benefiting from the latest round of Racing NSW prizemoney increases with an attractive stake of $50,000.

It was Mr Manhattan, another talented member of Manhattan Rain’s 2011 crop, who collected the winner’s $27,750 share of that money with a 1.5 length victory in the 1000-metre handicap, coming home the last 600 metres in a very slick 33.17.

Watch Mr Manhattan win at Warwick Farm.

It was the gelding’s fifth win from ten starts for breeders Paul Whelan, Wilf & Rosemary Mula and their fellow owners, and trainer Joe Pride. They’ve been happy to let Mr Manhattan work through the grades, compiling $171,000 prizemoney along the way, but it will be no surprise to see him earn black capital status this season.

Mr Manhattan is a half-brother to dual stakeswinner Dublin Lass, out of the city-winning mare Fashion Police (by Elusive Quality). She is yet another fine producer from a family that has thrown a host of top performers including Midnight Fever, Rock Classic, Skyerush, Mahisara and Mr Manhattan’s Group 2-winning third dam Fine Recipe. 

Go back another eight generations and there’s Lady Josephine, dam of one of racing’s most famous speedsters, and one of the 20th century’s most important broodmares, Mumtaz Mahal.

Rather like Wild Rain and Mr Manhattan, their sire is making his mark by the steady accumulation of quality results. With 18 stakes performers (12% of his runners) from his first three crops, Manhattan Rain is more than holding his own among Australia’s younger stallions. 

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.

Rain reigns in McEwen Stakes

Manhattan Rain’s brilliant daughter Wild Rain confirmed a Group 1 campaign when she took early control of Saturday’s $200,000 MVRC McEwen S. 1000m G2 and never let go, kicking clear in the straight to win by a length from Furnaces and the favourite Heatherly.

Watch Wild Rain win the MVRC McEwen S. G2.

The keys to Wild Rain’s eight-win career are her consistent professionalism and serious pace – the kind of pace that puts early pressure on her rivals, finds a gear-change when challenged and keeps going until the job is done.  Or, as trainer Mark Kavanagh explains, “When you are able to run quick sectionals like her, it makes it hard for those chasing her.”

Given that ability and Wild Rain’s five-start, three-win record at Moonee Valley, the $500,000 Moir S. G1 on 30 September is a reasonable goal for her and that is where she is now headed.

The McEwen Stakes, which honours Moonee Valley’s visionary administrator Ian McEwen, is Wilid Rain’s fourth stakes victory and her second at Group level, after her MRC Sir John Monash S. G3 win in July.  The 5YO mare has returned five times the $150,000 Kavanagh bid for her at the 2013 Magic Millions Sale, where she was offered by Arrowfield on behalf the Stud’s long-standing partnership with John Leaver.

Wild Rain is the best of three winners left so far by North Flower (by Rory’s Jester), a 2YO-winning half-sister to the dam of champion and Horse of the Year Northerly, and a three-quarter sister of Group winners North Boy and Northern Song.  North Flower has a a 2YO daughter, Desert Flower (by Animal Kingdom), in training with Paul Messara for the Arrowfield/Leaver partnership.

The Teeley Assets-bred colt Manhattan Street almost gave Manhattan Rain a trans-Tasman double on Saturday when he was narrowly beaten after a tremendous battle with possible Victoria Derby contender Highlad in the Wanganui Guineas LR. A 3YO son of Lankan Rupee’s sister Charming Estelle, Manhattan Street lost nothing in defeat, after three consecutive 2YO wins.

Watch Manhattan Street’s 2nd, Wanganui Guineas LR.

Wild Rain, Manhattan Street and a second 3YO colt, Tango Rain (2nd, ATC San Domenico S. G2), all give Manhattan Rain a great chance of making his mark on the Spring’s major prizes in Sydney and Melbourne.

2016 Arrowfield Stallion Open House

Arrowfield is ready to open its gates again during the 2016 Hunter Valley Stallion Week, with a full parade each morning from Friday 19 August to Sunday 21 August.

To get ‘up close and personal’ with Arrowfield’s exceptional roster, the Friday and Saturday afternoon sessions are highly recommended. Join one of the small groups for a laneway inspection of each stallion and plenty of opportunities to ask questions of Arrowfield staff, then stay on for refreshments and Saturday’s racing on TV.

The Stud’s three new stallions, Real Impact, Scissor Kick and Panzer Division will make their first public appearances at this year’s Open House, joining the great Redoute’s Choice, his sensational sons Snitzel & Not A Single Doubt, Champion First Season Sire Smart Missile, Group 1 sire Charge Forward, the up-and-coming Manhattan Rain and Champions Dundeel & Olympic Glory.

The full schedule is:

FRIDAY 19 AUGUST
9.00 am-12 noon

including a full parade at 9:30 am
2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

SATURDAY 20 AUGUST
9:00 am – 12 noon

including a full parade at 9:30 am
2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

SUNDAY 21 AUGUST
9:00 am – 12 noon
including a full parade at 9:30 am

To assist with catering please RSVP to arrowfield@arrowfield.com.au.

Spectacular season for Arrowfield roster

From every angle, the 2015/16 Australian season has been spectacular for Arrowfield’s powerhouse stallion roster.

Redoute’s Choice and his sons Snitzel and Not A Single Doubt all end the year in the top 10 on the Australian General Sires’ Premiership with collective earnings of $29.6 million and 390 winners of 638 races.

The trio also achieved top 10 finishes on the 2YO and 3YO Sires’ lists.

Not A Single Doubt, who began his career with six seasons at a $12,500 fee, tops multiple categories. He is Australia’s leading active sire, headed off only by the deceased Premiership winner Street Cry.  He also heads the table on Winners (154), Wins (257), matches Street Cry and Fastnet Rock with 12 stakeswinners and is the nation’s leading sire of 3YOs.

Most significantly though, Not A Single Doubt is the Leading Australian Sire by Worldwide Earnings (SH-bred progeny only) with a remarkable total of $14.8 million – almost $1 million ahead of Fastnet Rock.

Redoute’s Choice bests both of them, and Street Cry when it comes to Southern Hemisphere stakeswinners with 15, headed by his three latest Group 1 winners Abbey Marie, Howard Be Thy Name and Peeping. 

Snitzel’s flagship performer Sun Jewellery broke new ground for him in Hong Kong as a dual Group 1 winner and recipient of the Champion Miler Award.

 At home Snitzel equalled Without Fear’s 40-year-old record of 30 individual 2YO winners in a single season and provided the top lots at all three major sales, including the season’s highest-priced yearling, the $2.3 million half-brother to Winx.

The tally of seven-figure yearlings by Redoute’s Choice rose to 70, thanks to a trio of Inglis Easter colts, plus a colt and a filly from his first European crop sold at Arqana last August and Tattersalls in October 2015.

In all, Redoute’s Choice & Snitzel sired eight of the 15 million-dollar yearlings sold in Australia during 2016.

Not A Single Doubt’s brilliant season, headlined by Group 1 winners Extreme Choice, Single Gaze and Good Project, took his yearling prices to record levels. Tim Stakemire, acting for Sheikh Khalifa, paid $650,000 for the Miss Sharapova filly at Magic Millions, and the Colorado Claire colt was knocked down for $850,000 to James Harron at Inglis Easter.

Smart Missile has won Arrowfield its third First Season Sires’ title in the past dozen years, following Redoute’s Choice (2004) and Charge Forward (2009). One of the most popular young stallions in recent Australian history, Smart Missile was represented by eight first-crop winners, including New Zealand Listed winner Sassy ‘N’ Smart. Four other stakes performers rounded out the season for the son of Fastnet Rock.

His yearlings have been keenly sought again in 2016, selling up to the $500,000 paid by Little Hung & Bahen Bloodstock for Arrowfield’s colt out of Pyrography at Magic Millions 1 – where Smart Missile had 26 lots sell for an average price of $147,308.

Arrowfield’s third season sire Manhattan Rain continued his excellent progress with the impressive 2YOs Scarlet Rain & Manhattan Street, smart Melbourne sprinter Wild Rain and six other stakes performers. The sale-ring highlight for the son of Encosta de Lago came in Hong Kong where the 2YO colt out of La Bamba made just under $1.2 million.

Back in Australia, buyers paid up to $230,000 for his yearlings and leading trainers Gai Waterhouse, David Hayes & Tom Dabernig, Darren Weir, Ciaron Maher & Tony McEvoy all added at least one Manhattan Rain to their stable.

Yearlings by Group 1 sire Charge Forward also found an appreciative market, especially at Magic Millions Book 1 where seven of his 8 lots sold, averaging almost $143,000. However, his top price this year was paid at Inglis Melbourne where the Hong Kong Jockey Club’s bid of $210,000 secured Glentree’s colt out of Emanday.

Dubai World Cup champion Animal Kingdom’s first yearlings went through the ring in 2016, selling up to the $310,000 paid for the striking Cat by the Tale filly at Magic Millions. Look out for his first runners this season from the stables of Godolphin, Chris Waller, Team Hawkes, Mike Moroney, Nigel Blackiston, John Sargent and David Payne.

Dundeel was the Leading First Season Sire at the Magic Millions National Weanling Sale where all six of his foals sold for an average of $143,333. The six-time Group 1 winner’s top price of $240,000 was paid by Musk Creek Farm for the Cerberus Gal colt consigned by Riversdale. 

It’s easy to think that after three decades in the stallion-making business, Arrowfield’s Chairman John Messara might be blase about such an extraordinary year, but he isn’t. 

He says, “What experience gives you is a deeper appreciation of just how hard it is to build a strong stallion roster, and breed and sell successfully at any level, so the highs seem even bigger to me now than they did thirty years ago.

“Kris, Paul, Alice and I are very proud of our whole team at the farm, the training centre and in Sydney, everyone contributes enormously to our results and there’s great satisfaction for me, and I hope all our staff, in achieving special things together.”

Messara adds, “It’s difficult to pick out just a few highlights but the flourishing of the Redoute’s Choice dynasty, while he’s still expanding his own record,  here and in Europe, is something I’m privileged to witness. 

“Sharing success with breeder friends and partners always means a lot, and for that reason the performances of Contentment in Hong Kong, Sassy ‘N’ Smart in New Zealand and Stay With Me and Weatherly in Australia stand out for me.

“I’m also grateful for the immense support we receive from breeders, owners, trainers, agents and syndicators.  We start each stallion’s story, but their investment, skill and hard work completes it.”

Fresh Arrowfield stallion stories are already being written. Coming up in 2016/17 are Smart Missile’s first 3YOs, Animal Kingdom’s first 2YOs, Dundeel’s first yearlings, the first Australian foals by four-time European Group 1 winner Olympic Glory and the launch of Arrowfield’s new boys, Real Impact, Panzer Division and Scissor Kick.

Manhattan Rain colt scores by a Street

Manhattan Rain added the 7th stakeswinner to his CV when Manhattan Street won Saturday’s $50,000 Levin RC Ryder S. 1200m LR by 6.5 lengths from Cortado and Impulsive Habit.

The 2YO colt was recording his third win in 3 starts, following his debut success at Otaki last month, and again at Awapuni on 9 July.  It was also Manhattan Rain’s second stakeswinner this month, after Wild Rain’s success in the MRC Sir John Monash S. G3 on 16 July.

Trainer Lisa Latta, who prepares Manhattan Street for Lincoln Farms, Neville McAlister and Wellfield Lodge, said, “He had a really quiet early two-year-old preparation so we’ll continue to press forward and he will head to the Wanganui Guineas.”

That race also carries Listed status and will be run over 1340 metres on 3 September.

The steady hands of jockey Jonathan Riddell were an asset to Manhattan Street on the extremely testing ground. He said,  “He’s a lovely horse and a pleasure to ride.”

Manhattan Street was bred by Teeley Assets from Charming Estelle (by Redoute’s Choice), a full sister to 2014 World Champion Sprinter & Australian Horse of the Year Lankan Rupee. Offered as a weanling in the Teeley Reduction presented by Arrowfield at the 2014 Magic Millions National Sale, Manhattan Street was bought for $130,000 by the RMB Trust.

The combination of Manhattan Rain with daughters of his champion half-brother has so far produced five winners from 10 runners, including this season’s good Sydney 3YO Man of Choice, three times placed in Group company, including a third in the ATC Spring Champion S. G1.

Charming Estelle, now owned by Arrowfield & GSA Bloodstock, has a rising 2YO colt by Manhattan Rain, purchased for $90,000 by Hong Kong buyer F. Li from Arrowfield’s Inglis Easter draft.  She is due to foal to champion Japanese sire Deep Impact in early August.

Manhattan Street is the third stakeswinner, after Scarlet Rain & Wild Rain, and one of nine stakes performers for Manhattan Rain this season. With 40 winners and earnings of $2.4 million he ends 2015-16 among the top five third-crop sires based in Australia.

Tango Rain scores again in Sydney

Manhattan Rain is assembling a strong group of rising 3YOs for Spring racing and one of them, Tango Rain underlined his readiness for the challenge with his second Sydney win on Saturday.

The powerfully built colt got the best of the start, speared to the lead and, despite the windy conditions, bowled along easily in front before going clear to score by 1.3 lengths.

The quality of Tango Rain’s performance was underlined by the good efforts of the next four horses who completed an Arrowfield-sired first five.  Thronum (by Snitzel) recovered from a slow start to claim second and Arrowfield’s own runner Hair Trigger (by Smart Missile) powered home from the rear for third, with Decorated Soldier (by Snitzel) fourth and the first filly home, Tickling (by Not A Single Doubt), a brave fifth.

Watch Tango Rain’s second win at Canterbury.
Read: Tango Rain wins on debut in Sydney.

Tango Rain’s jockey Kerrin McEvoy said, “That was pleasing. That was a handy little race here today and he did everything right, got out and controlled it then kicked strongly. They’ve got options going forward.”

Those options include the $1 million ATC Golden Rose S. G1 over 1400m at Rosehill on 10 September but Tango Rain’s trainer Gerald Ryan isn’t sure that’s the best race for the Teeley Assets home-bred.

Ryan said, “He’s one of my better ones, he’s a nice horse, always has been, he’s always been an easy horse to train.

“But about the Golden Rose; I’m not sure, I’ve got a question mark about him, the way he’s built and there’s plenty of other races you can go to.”

A future stallion career for Tango Rain (ex Tango Fire by Anabaa) is already being considered by Ryan and Teeley Assets. It’s a subject they know something about, given their former charges include Manhattan Rain himself, Redoute’s Choice, Hurricane Sky and Snitzel. 

A happy consequence of Tango Rain’s victory was a novel photo opportunity for legendary Sydney racing photographer Martin King, honoured by the Australian Turf Club with the 2YO race named the Happy 70th Birthday Martin King Handicap. Most often active on the other side of the camera, he’s pictured here (right) after presenting the victory ribbon to Gerald Ryan.

First Group win for Wild Rain

Manhattan Rain’s smart daughter Wild Rain has obviously benefited from the good break Mark Kavanagh elected to give her after her five-start summer campaign. She resumed at Caulfield on Saturday to win the $150,000 MRC Sir John Monash S. 1100m G3 and did it without turning a hair.

Wild Rain jumped well from barrier 10 but was still left wide as Lord Of The Sky sped forward and the field began to sort out. Damien Oliver, back on board Wild Rain for the first time since he won on her at Morphettville in May 2015, elected to press on and settle her just behind Lord Of The Sky.

There she stayed until the top of the straight when she unwound the sprint that took her past the stubborn Lord Of The Sky 150 metres from home. Trevinder and Atmospherical came through late to nab the placings, but they didn’t threaten Wild Rain whose winning margin was 1.75 lengths. 

Watch Wild Rain win the MRC Sir John Monash S. G3.

The race was an easy watch for part-owner and stable representative Levi Kavanagh. He said, “We’ll space her runs this prep and keep her to the minimum distances. She’ll keep to these sort of races and definitely we will head towards the Magic Millions again.” Wild Rain was a valiant second in this year’s $1 million Magic Millions Sprint.

Her ability and professionalism is evident in her record of seven wins (three black type), five placings and $630,067 prizemoney from 18 starts for her owners Isobel & Levi Kavanagh, Brett Griffith & Tim Storey of Collins St Partners, Wade McKibben, Anna Stenswick’s DTTM Syndicate, Stan & Anna Hunt and Gary & Rhonda Ma.

A $150,000 buy from the Arrowfield draft at the 2013 Magic Millions Sale, Wild Rain was bred by the Stud’s long-standing partnership with John Leaver’s Planette Thoroughbred, also responsible for Miss Finland’s Group 1-winning daughter Stay With Me, Champion 2YO Filly Fashions Afield and Singapore Horse of the Year Stepitup among many others. 

Wild Rain is the sixth foal of juvenile winner North Flower (by Rory’s Jester) who has proven a valuable addition to Arrowfield/Planette broodmare band.

Stud Manager Paul Messara says, “North Flower is a good type of mare, she’s a half-sister to the dam of Northerly and she’s done a good job for Arrowfield and John Leaver since we bought her seven years ago.

“We’re now working with Wild Rain’s half-sister by Animal Kingdom – she’s probably the most forward of our rising two-year-olds, so I’m hopeful she’ll progress to the early trials.” 

A trio of recent juvenile winners (Tango Rain in Sydney, Inspired Estelle in Melbourne & Manhattan Street in New Zealand) also promise to give Manhattan Rain a strong start to the 2016/17 season, and build on his three-crop record of six stakeswinners and ten other stakes performers from 135 runners.