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.

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.