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.
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.