Zappy Choice wins at Turffontein

Almost a year after one grey daughter of Redoute’s Choice was named South Africa’s Champion 2YO Filly, a second grey 2YO filly by the champion sire has scored a dominant maiden win at Turffontein.

The now 3YO Majmu has progressed to win twice at Group 1 level in South Africa this season and is a leading contender for the Vodacom Durban July G1 next Saturday 4 July.

Zappy Choice was having only her third start in the San Michele Maiden Juvenile Plate at Turffontein, but tellingly it was her first attempt at 1600 metres and she clearly relished it.

She jumped well for jockey Gavin Lerena, settled comfortably in the lead and quickly gapped the field when asked to extend around 500 metres from home. Rock of Laudium and the favourite Youcanrockme reduced Zappy Choice’s advantage slightly over the closing stages but she kept up a strong gallop to win by two lengths.

Watch Zappy Choice’s win here – courtesy of the Racing Association

Like Majmu, Zappy Choice is an Arrowfield sale graduate, bought for $85,000 from the 2014 Magic Millions National Yearling Sale by trainer Mike Azzie for his principal owners Adriaan & Rika van Vuuren.

If Zappy Choice can take even a few of the steps Majmu has taken in her career, she has more than enough pedigree appeal to make her a very valuable mare indeed. She was bred by Arrowfield’s joint venture with HH The Aga Khan from the unraced grey mare Zarakiysha (by Kendor), a half-sister to French Group 3 winner Zarshana and the great European Champion Zarkava, unbeaten in seven starts including the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and four other Group 1 races.

Zappy Choice is Zarakiysha’s third foal and third winner, after the Hussonet fillies Zarzing (who won her third race for Tony Noonan at Pakenham on Friday), and the promising staying 3YO Zarzali, prepared by Bart & James Cummings to run fourth in last month’s Queensland Oaks G1.

Zarakiysha delivered her fourth filly, a sister to Zappy Choice, last Spring and is due to foal to Animal Kingdom in October.

Zappy Choice is also closely related to one of the most spectacularly bred foals in Redoute’s Choice’s first French-conceived crop: the Aga Khan’s colt out of Zarkava.

Manhattan Rain's international double

Thursday’s winners in South Africa and Australia by exciting second season sire Manhattan Rain draw attention to their siblings on offer at early 2015 yearling sales.

Arrowfield graduate Diva Danny posted her second win from three starts when she defeated older mares over 1800 metres at the Vaal meeting.

Trained by Mike Azzie for Adriaan & Rika van Vuuren, Diva Danny was a $100,000 purchase from Arrowfield’s 2013 Magic Millions draft. The Stud will present Diva Danny’s full brother at the Inglis Classic Sale in February.

Both were bred by Arrowfield in partnership with Matt and Jo Cloros from the American mare Passiflora (by Empire Maker), a daughter of Danehill’s three-quarter sister Quick To Please.

Passiflora also has a 2YO Snitzel colt, purchased for $200,000 by Mick Price at this year’s Inglis Easter Sale, and is in foal again to the brilliant son of Redoute’s Choice.

Manhattan Rain’s Australian winner on Thursday was 3YO debutant Mr Manhattan who scored stylishly over 1200 metres at Gosford.

The Joe Pride-trained gelding jumped well and took up the lead which he held comfortably, needing only hands-and-heels encouragement from jockey Blake Shinn until the final stages of the race. He then quickened smartly to stave off Russet by almost a half-length, with Last Card Joe in third place.

Mr Manhattan, a chestnut like Diva Danny, was bred by Luskin Park Stud which passed him in at the 2013 Inglis Easter Sale and now races him with a large group of owners including Wilf & Rosemary Mula.  His dam Fashion Police (by Elusive Quality) descends from the good producer Lady Lustre, a half-sister to the dam of top-class 2YO filly Midnight Fever (1987 VATC Blue Diamond S. G1).

It’s been a very good week for Fashion Police, also dam of last Saturday’s Rosehill winner Dublin Lass (by O’Reilly), and a yearling colt by Starcraft to be offered at the Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale in January. Fashion Police was served by Snitzel in September and is safely in foal to him.

As for Manhattan Rain, he now has 15 first-crop winners, four of them prominent in Group company this Spring: Moonovermanhattan (MVRC Moonee Valley Vase G2), Crafty (2nd, MRC Caulfield Classic G3 & 3rd, VRC Edward Manifold S. G2), Manhattan Avenue (two Listed Race placings & 3rd, VRC Carbine Club S. G3) and Light Up Manhattan (4th, VRC Victoria Derby G1 & MRC Caulfield Classic G3).

These performances have put Manhattan Rain in third position on the Australian Second Season Sires’ list by prizemoney ($808,855) and winners (12).

The Group 1-winning son of Encosta de Lago has ten lots catalogued for each of the first two Australian yearling sales of 2015,  Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale in January and the Inglis Classic Sale in February. Arrowfield’s consignments include two Maanhattan Rain yearlings at each auction.