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.

Doomben Group double for Redoute's Choice

Big race doubles are a feature of the Redoute’s Choice story, but Arrowfield’s champion sire has outdone himself this month with two same-track, same-day Group doubles in a fortnight.

Abbey Marie (Australasian Oaks G1) & Into The Mist (Queen of the South S. G2) obliged at Morphettville on 7 May, and on Saturday 3YOs Kebede & Counterattack added the first Doomben Group race double to Redoute’s Choice’s record.

Kebede completed the first part of a long-term plan for trainer Matthew Dunn and his fellow owners when she strode to victory in the $175,000 BRC The Roses 2000m G2, defeating Sebring Sally and the favourite Imposing Lass.

Dunn said, “She’s done an amazing job and we’ve earmarked this race and the Oaks from the time we bought her. I thought any races she won on the way through to the Oaks would be a bonus.”

Kebede came into the race with solid form, including two Gold Coast wins and a Listed third over increasing distances, but was neglected by punters who let her start at $19. She is now listed as a $12 chance for the $500,000 Queensland Oaks G1 on 4 June.

The 3YO filly is the 133rd stakeswinner by Redoute’s Choice and the 15th stakeswinner to represent him worldwide this season.

Bred by Brent & Judy Hudson and bought by Neil Jenkinson for $80,000 at the 2014 Magic Millions Sale, Kebede is out of Champion Chilean 2YO Filly Desert Fight (by Hussonet), making her a full sister of Arrowfield’s freshman sire Panzer Division. Now part of the Arrowfield broodmare band, Desert Fight has a weanling filly by Redoute’s Choice and is in foal to Snitzel.

The Redoute’s Choice/Hussonet cross is proving sensational, throwing four Group winners (dual Group 1 winner Majmu, Kebede, Panzer Division & Honesty Prevails) and Group-placed Regatta Rebel from only eight named foals.

Like Kebede, Counterattack has an accomplished sibling and a Group 1 target at Eagle Farm in June. The half-brother of dual Goup 1 winner Red Tracer booked a berth in the $1.5 million Stradbroke H. G1 on 11 June when he overcame a wide trip to win the $125,000 BRC Fred Best Classic 1350m G3.

Jockey James MacDonald likes his chances. “He was strong through the line at the end of 1350 metres today and he’s right on track for the Stradbroke.

“You need a horse with plenty of strength to win that race and he’s exactly the right type especially with the big weight drop in his favour.”

Counterattack’s super-consistent record this season for owner-breeders Geoff & Mary Grimish and trainer Chris Waller also includes two Listed wins in Sydney and a third in the Coolmore Stud S. G1 last Spring.