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. 

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.

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.

Long Face Grace wins Pinker Pinker Plate

Pacific Bloodstock’s progressive 4YO mare Long Face Grace more than doubled her earnings on Friday evening when she proved too strong in the $100,000 Cranbourne TC Inglis Pinker Pinker Plate over 2080 metres.

The daughter of Manhattan Rain made light of her wide draw with the aid of Glen Boss who directed her towards the rail, to settle in third spot as Billie Frechette took up the pace from Trancing.

Long Face Grace rolled along easily off the pace through the middle stages and was poised to strike as the field caught Billie Frechette round the turn. Boss got to work after the mare straightened up and she kicked clear, with enough in hand to hold off the fast-finishing Zanteca by a neck. Ring Da Belle was a further 1.7 lengths away, third.

Watch Long Face Grace’s win in the Pinker Pinker Plate.

Boss said, “She’s a quality mare, I always thought she was probably looking for the 2000 or more. For an inexperienced filly, she’s got some good qualities.”

A $70,000 purchase by Pacific Bloodstock principal Mark Hoare from the 2013 Magic Millions draft of Highgrove Stud, Long Face Grace has progressed quickly in the Mark Kavanagh stable since her debut third at Yarra Valley in March. She has now won three of her last four starts and has relished each step up in distance.   

Long Face Grace is the fifth foal of Retract (by Flying Spur), a city-winning half-sister to the dam of champion filly Atlantic Jewel and Group 1 winner Commanding Jewel.

Given he is free of Danehill, it’s not surprising that Manhattan Rain (by Encosta De Lago) is proving effective with mares by the supersire’s sons. His eleven winners bred that way include his Group 2-winning son Moonovermanhattan (also from a Flying Spur mare), Group-placed pair Man Of Choice & Manhattan Avenue, and stakes-placed Right Or Wrong. 

It’s been a fruitful week for Manhattan Rain, with three notable winners in six days. 3YO filly Manrose Hattan (ex Marlena Rose by Al Samer) scored by 3 lengths over 1600 metres at Doomben last Saturday, and 4YO gelding Mr Manhattan (ex Fashion Police by Elusive Quality) was successful over 1000 metres at Warwick Farm last Monday.

Manhattan Rain has two Group 1 runners on Saturday: Moonovermanhattan in the Toorak Handicap at Caulfield, and Man Of Choice in the Spring Champion Stakes at Randwick.

No Long Faces around Grace

Syndicator Pacific Bloodstock hoped for a big showing from Long Face Grace at the first of Moonee Valley’s night meetings this season and that’s exactly what Manhattan Rain’s promising daughter delivered.

The 4YO mare stepped up to 1600 metres last Friday for the first time after her maiden win at Sandown last month and a second at Seymour on 9 September, both at 1400 metres. That form earned Long Face Grace favouritism in the Fillies & Mares Handicap which she justified with a narrow but strong win, defeating Billie Frechette by a half-head with 1.5 lengths further back to Bet You She Rocks.

Watch Long Face Grace win at Moonee Valley.

Out of the money only once in her six starts from the Mark Kavanagh stable, Long Face Grace was a $70,000 purchase by Pacific Bloodstock principal Mark Hoare from the 2013 Magic Millions draft of Ron & Deb Gilbert’s Highgrove Stud. 
 
The filly fitted Mark’s criteria. “I tend not to buy running two-year-olds, I prefer a bit of scope which she had and Mark [Kavanagh] liked her too.

“I liked Manhattan Rain given his pedigree and thought he had a chance, and of course, she had the Atlantic Jewel factor as well.”

Long Face Grace is the fifth foal of Retract (by Flying Spur), a city-winning half-sister to the dam of champion filly Atlantic Jewel and Group 1 winner Commanding Jewel.

However, things didn’t go smoothly for Long Face Grace during her early education, as Mark Hoare explains. “She was kicked in her paddock when she was being broken in and we nearly lost her. Mark and the stable have handled her very patiently, everything has been done at her pace and she’s starting to come into her own now.”

The next goal for Long Face Grace is the 1600-metre Ladies Day Vase G3, at Caulfield on 14 October but jockey Glen Boss, who has piloted the mare to both her wins, believes she will cope with 2000 metres and beyond as she progresses.

Manhattan Rain’s first crop has so far produced 36 winners including Group 2 winner Moonovermanhattan (also from a Flying Spur mare), Listed winners Manapine, Ondina, Crafty and Long Face Grace’s short-course sprinting stablemate Wild Rain.

Long Face Grace makes owners smile

Manhattan Rain’s 4YO daughter Long Face Grace scored a well-deserved maiden win at her fourth start over 1400 metres on Wednesday at Sandown.

Forced by her 13 barrier to race wide much of the way, Long Face Grace began to make ground 600 metres from home. She responded generously to Glen Boss’ urgings all the way up the straight to overtake Deadly Shadow 50 metres out and then find enough to win a head-bobbing final battle with Nakataan.

Watch Long Face Grace’s win at Sandown.

Long Face Grace was a $70,000 purchase by Mark Hoare’s syndication company Pacific Bloodstock from the 2013 Magic Millions draft of her breeder Highgrove Stud.

Bred on the same Manhattan Rain/Flying Spur cross as Group 2 winner Moonovermanhattan, Long Face Grace is the fifth foal of Retract, a city-winning half-sister to the dam of champion filly Atlantic Jewel and Group 1 winner Commanding Jewel. The pedigree is very familiar to Long Face Grace’s trainer Mark Kavanagh: he also trained Atlantic Jewel to win ten of her 11 starts including four Group 1 races.

Retract also has a 3YO son, Snitzational (by Snitzel) & a 2YO son, Ammate (by Beneteau), and she foaled a filly by Ocean Park in 2014.

Manhattan Rain was fourth on the 2014/15 Australian 2nd Season Sires’ list with earnings of almost $2 million and 32 winners, four of them successful in stakes company: Moonovermanhattan, Manapine, Ondina & Wild Rain (also prepared by Mark Kavanagh).

10th stakes performer for Manhattan Rain

Progressive young sire Manhattan Rain posted his 10th stakes performer when Wild Rain was joint runner-up in Saturday’s $160,000 MRC Sir John Monash S. 1100m G3.

Watch the MRC Sir John Monash S. G3 here.

Sent to the weight-for-age feature after a strong win at Moonee Valley on 20 June, Wild Rain began well and soon took up the lead from Angels Beach and Miss Promiscuity. Both mares challenged Wild Rain in the straight and it was 5YO Miss Promiscuity who swept forward to win by 2.8 lengths, with Wild Rain & Angels Beach dead-heating for second.

Wild Rain’s trainer Mark Kavanagh was delighted with the 3YO filly’s effort at her first start in black type company.

“That was great. We took a risk running in this as opposed to the fillies’ race and it is terrific for the owners to get the Group placing, She will head to the Dermody Stakes in Adelaide in three weeks’ time.” The 1050-metre South Australian race is now known as the Lightning Stakes.

Wild Rain has won four and placed in two of her 11 starts since her June 2014 debut, earning prizemoney of more than $160,000.

Bred by Arrowfield and John Leaver, Wild Rain is from North Flower (by Rory’s Jester) a 2YO city winner and a half-sister to the dam of 2003 Horse of the Year Northerly.

North Flower has also left the stakes-placed city winner Flowerchild to Redoute’s Choice, and has an unraced 2YO filly by Starcraft named Tahlia Star and a weanling filly by Animal Kingdom.

Wild Rain was a $150,000 Kavanagh buy from Arrowfield at the 2013 Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale and is raced by Isobel & Levi Kavanagh, Brett Griffith & Tim Storey of Collins St Partners, Wade McKibben, Stan & Anna Hunt and Gary and Rhonda Ma.

Group 2 winner Moonovermanhattan and Listed stakeswinners Ondina & Manapine head the 31 winners that have put Manhattan Rain among Australia’s top five sophomore sires this season with earnings of $1.8 million.

Right as Rain at Gold Coast & Moonee Valley

A new stakes performer and an easy city winner gave progressive young sire Manhattan Rain a mid-winter boost on Saturday.

At Moonee Valley in Melbourne 3YO filly Wild Rain scored an easy win over 1000 metres after settling in the trail behind the early leaders. Taken wide around the turn by jockey Glen Boss, she sped home to score by 2.5 lengths from Pilly’s Wish and It’s Poets Day.

It was the chestnut filly’s third city success and fourth win from 10 starts for trainer Mark Kavanagh who said she would be aimed at the popular series of 955-metre sprints held at Moonee Valley during the summer. “She’s a great little horse and we’ll just keep her going.”

Bred by the partnership of Arrowfield & Planette Thoroughbred, Wild Rain is from North Flower (by Rory’s Jester), herself a 2YO winner at Morphettville and a half-sister to Group winners North Boy and Northern Song, and to the dam of 2003 Horse of the Year Northerly.

North Flower has also left the stakes-placed city winner Flowerchild to Redoute’s Choice, and has an unraced 2YO filly by Starcraft named Tahlia Star and a weanling filly by Animal Kingdom.

Wild Rain was a $150,000 Kavanagh buy from Arrowfield at the 2013 Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale and is raced by Isobel & Levi Kavanagh, Brett Griffith & Tim Storey of Collins St Partners, Wade McKibben, Stan & Anna Hunt and Gary & Rhonda Ma.

A little earlier in the day Manhattan Rain’s 3YO son Right or Wrong continued his progress in good company with a hard-fought second in the $125,000 Qld Tatt’s RC Daybreak Lover S. 1800m LR.

It was the gelding’s first try beyond the 1600 metres of his second win at Ipswich last month, and only New Zealand filly No Tricks denied him a stakes victory, by a long neck. 

Bred by Steve Tregea’s Windemere Stud in Queensland, Right or Wrong is the third winner out of the Flying Spur mare Impulsive Lass, herself a city-winning half-sister to Blue Diamond G1 winner Reward For Effort, multiple stakeswinner Consular and Bahia, the dam of Overreach (Golden Slipper G1). 

Group 2 winner Moonovermanhattan (also from a Flying Spur mare) heads Manhattan Rain’s record of four stakeswinners and four other stakes performers among 33 worldwide first-crop winners.

Third by winners on the Australian 2nd Season Sires’ list, the half-brother to Redoute’s Choice has amassed 2014/15 earnings of more than $1.7 million. He has also achieved career-high yearling prices of $700,000 for the La Bamba colt and $360,000 for the Gibraltar Campion filly, both purchased from April’s Inglis Easter Sale.

Smart Manhattan Rain filly wins again

Manhattan Rain’s 3YO daughter Wild Rain continued her steady progress with a dashing all-the-way win over 1050 metres at Morphettville on Saturday.

Wild Rain began well for jockey Damien Oliver, quickly took control of the pace, and rolled along in front very comfortably. When the challenges appeared in the straight, she responded to Oliver’s hands-and-heels urging and extended impressively to score by two lengths from Cashed and Duckworth.

The chestnut filly broke her maiden by 8 lengths at Kyneton in December and stepped up immediately to city class on 3 January at Moonee Valley where she prevailed in a hard-fought finish by a half-length.

A third and a sixth at Flemington followed before trainer Mark Kavanagh sent her to Adelaide for the third win in her eight-start career.

Bred by Arrowfield and John Leaver, Wild Rain is from North Flower (by Rory’s Jester), herself a 2YO winner at Morphettville and a half-sister to the dam of 2003 Horse of the Year Northerly, and Group winners North Boy and Northern Song.

North Flower has also left the stakes-placed city winner Flowerchild to Redoute’s Choice, and has an unraced 2YO filly by Starcraft named Tahlia Star and a weanling filly by Animal Kingdom.

Wild Rain was a $150,000 Kavanagh buy from Arrowfield at the 2013 Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale and is raced by Isobel & Levi Kavanagh, Brett Griffith & Tim Storey of Collins St Partners, Wade McKibben, Stan & Anna Hunt and Gary and Rhonda Ma.

It has been a productive fortnight for Manhattan Rain, also the sire of Mr Manhattan (Sydney winner on 28 April), Bear-Pop (Hong Kong winner on 3 May), Right Or Wrong (who posted his second win from 4 starts at Ipswich on 6 May), and Manapine, already a Flemington stakeswinner and a good fifth in Saturday’s South Australian Derby G1.

Manhatan Rain holds fourth position on the Australian Second Season Sires’ list with $1.6 million prizemoney and 29 winners including stakeswinners Moonovermanhattan, Ondina and Manapine.