Fruitful season for Manhattan Rain

The 2016/17 season is certainly proving fruitful for Arrowfield’s quiet achiever Manhattan Rain, sire of quality Melbourne sprinter Wild Rain, Golden Slipper favourite She Will Reign and South African Group winner Whisky Baron.

Whisky Baron, unbeaten in four runs this season, earned himself a start in the ~$500,000 Sun Met 2000m G1 on South Africa’s richest raceday, 28 January, when he won the Kenilworth Peninsula H. 1800m G2 earlier this month.  He’s the ninth stakeswinner and one of 21 stakes performers from Manhattan Rain’s 155 runners.

The 4YO colt was bought for $50,000 by Craig Roscoe & Joey Ramsden from Arrowfield’s 2014 Inglis Easter draft and is trained by Brett Crawford for Craig & Ross Kieswetter whose family has recently purchased the long-established Highlands Stud in the Western Cape.

Like this season’s debut 2YO stakeswinner Azazel, Whisky Baron is a result of the Aga Khan/Arrowfield joint venture, which also sold a colt and a filly for $1 million at last week’s Magic Millions Sale.

His unraced dam Tazkara, by the dual Derby and Arc winner Sinndar, is a grand-daughter of Tashtiya (by Shergar), winner of the 1983 Ascot Princess Royal S. G3 over the equivalent of 2400 metres. All four of Tazkara’s Australian-bred foals to race have won, with Flying Force (by Flying Spur) successful at 2200 metres.

Tazkara has a 3YO filly named Pretty Snitzel (by Snitzel) in training with Kelly Doughty on the Gold Coast and, after returning to France in 2014, foaled a second filly by Snitzel. Now a southern hemisphere 2YO, that filly will be prepared by leading French trainer Jean-Claude Rouget. Tazkara also has a yearling colt by Excelebration and is in foal to the young Shadwell stallion Muhaarar (by Oasis Dream).

Other performers by Manhattan Rain this term include Greg & Donna Kolivos’ 3YO filly Gibraltar Girl (two-time winner in Sydney and stakes-placed in Brisbane); Brendan & Jo Lindsay’s 4YO mare Promise To Reign (Group-placed in New Zealand), Teeley Assets’ smart 3YO colt Tango Rain (second in Star Turn’s ATC San Domenico S. G3 ), city winners Mr Manhattan, New Summer Night & Sunny Fame and debut 2YO winner Aunt Liberty.

Arrowfield sold all three of Manhattan Rain’s yearlings at Magic Millions, notably the sister to Group 2 winner Scarlet Rain, bought by RIFA Mustang Pty Ltd for $360,000 – equalling her sire’s top price for a filly.

Manhattan Rain has three fillies and two colts catalogued for February’s Inglis Classic Sale, and a colt and a filly for the Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale later that month.

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.

Promise To Reign on target for Classic test

Brendan & Jo Lindsay’s Manhattan Rain filly Promise To Reign passed her first stakes test with distinction when she split Mime and the favourite Capella in Saturday $100,000 Waikato RC Sir Tristram Fillies Classic 2000m G2.

Watch Promise To Reign’s 2nd in the Sir Tristram Fillies Classic G2.

Only the win would have made trainer Moira Murdoch happier with Promise To Reign’s performance, and jockey Leith Innes believes the track condition was all that beat her. 

Moira says, “We’re all very proud of her, Brendan was beside himself with delight and Leith felt she would have won if the track had been firm.

“She’s a slightly built filly but she’s a thriver, and tough as nails. She’ll be a nice mare for Melbourne in the Spring.”

Promise To Reign has a little more work to do before her winter spell, in the Sunline Vase G3 at Ellerslie on 5 March and then the $300,000 New Zealand Oaks G1 at Trentham on 19 March. That’s the race she has been aimed at all season and her trainer is confident she will cope with the 2400-metre Classic.

“She’s a great settler, just drops the bit and goes to sleep, and she has a tremendous turn of foot.”

Murdoch, famous in Australia as the trainer of 1994 Cox Plate winner Solvit, prepares Promise To Reign for Brendan & Jo Lindsay whose agent John Foote bought the filly for $270,000 from the Arrowfield draft at the 2014 Inglis Easter Sale. It’s been a good week for graduates of that consignment, with Rekindled Effort (Redoute’s Choice-Rekindled Applause) winning on debut at Pakenham for Paul Messara, and Diego Kosta (Charge Forward-Joy Ride) successful in Hong Kong for John Size.

Promise To Reign was bred by Cloros Bloodstock and Arrowfield from the El Prado mare Certain Promise a sister to French Group 1 winner Spanish Moon and Royal Ascot Group 2 winner Spanish Sun. The family’s many fine middle-distance performers include Flintshire, a Group 1 winner in France, Hong Kong & the United States.

Certain Promise has a 2YO colt by Smart Missile with Star Thoroughbreds, a yearling filly by Animal Kingdom and a weanling filly by Smart Missile. The mare is in foal to Olympic Glory.

On this side of the Tasman, Manhattan Rain has the talented juvenile filly Scarlet Rain, progressive 4YO Right Or Wrong (winner of his last two starts in Brisbane) and 3YO debut winner Always all boosting his team for the Autumn.  His leading earner so far this season, the smart sprinter Wild Rain, is spelling after her excellent second to Husson Eagle in the Magic Millions Sprint.

Fourth on the current Third Season Sires’ list, Manhattan Rain has two colts and a filly in the upcoming Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale, and five colts in the Inglis Easter Sale, including Arrowfield’s colt from Lankan Rupee’s sister Charming Estelle.

Manhattan Rain delivers on Promise

A smart maiden winner by Manhattan Rain promises to give him another runner in a major Classic over the next couple of months.

Trainer Moira Murdoch has held a good opinion of Promise To Reign for some time now and the 3YO filly justified her confidence with a strong win over 1600m at Te Rapa in New Zealand.

Watch Promise To Reign’s win at Te Rapa.

Promise To Reign was a $270,000 purchase from Arrowfield’s 2014 Inglis Easter draft by John Foote for Brendan & Jo Lindsay and has been handled with all the patience required to develop an Oaks filly.

Murdoch indicated after Wednesday’s win that the $300,000 New Zealand Oaks G1 on 19 March was the filly’s main target this Autumn, with the Sir Tristram Fillies Classic G2 on 13 February her most likely next start.

Promise To Reign was bred by Matt & Jo Cloros and Arrowfield from the winning El Prado mare Certain Promise, a full sister to French Group 1 winner Spanish Moon and Royal Ascot Group 2 winner Spanish Sun. There’s plenty of top-class European middle-distance form in the pedigree, most notably contributed by Flintshire whose gallant Arc second earned him an international rating of 123, surpassed only by Golden Horn & Treve among the world’s best 2400-metre turf performers of 2015.

Certain Promise has a 2YO colt by Smart Missile in the Star Thoroughbreds stable, a yearling filly by Animal Kingdom for this year’s Inglis Easter Sale and a filly foal by Smart Missile.

Manhattan Rain has already shown he’s capable of leaving serious Classic contenders including Moonovermanhattan (Moonee Valley Vase G2), Light Up Manhattan (4th, Victoria Derby G1), Man of Choice (2nd, Spring Champion S. G1), Manapine & Crafty.  However, he was classy enough himself to win at Group 1 level at two, then run second in the Cox Plate at three and he’s building a similar range of achievement as a sire.  

His 4YO daughter Wild Rain is something of a 1000-metre specialist, winning in Melbourne Listed company at that distance and finding only Husson Eagle too strong for her in the 1100-metre Magic Millions Sprint on 9 January. The Mick Price-trained 3YO gelding Twisting Typhoon showed similar zip when winning his debut at Sandown on 2 December, followed a month later by a Saturday third placing over 1200m at Moonee Valley.

Manhattan Rain has also had two city winners, both of them Arrowfield graduates, from four 2YO starters this season: Darby Racing’s filly Scarlet Rain (ex Double Ranga) who lines up again at Randwick this Saturday, and Speeding Comet (ex Brazen Hussey), first & second in his two starts in Perth.

These performances have not been lost on buyers who paid an average of $123,333 – almost five times his 2013 fee – for six lots by the son of Encosta de Lago at the Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale. All but one were sold in Book 1 and four of them made $130,000 (2 lots), $160,000 and $230,000.

That top price of $230,000 was achieved by Turangga Farm for their filly out of Convene, a half-sister to Group 1 winner Headway. She was purchased by Shadwell Australasia; other Manhattan Rain yearling buyers included Gai Waterhouse (trainer of Scarlet Rain) & Julian Blaxland, and Lindsay Park Racing.

Manhattan Rain is also proving a valuable outcross option because, unlike his illustrious big brother Redoute’s Choice, he does not have Danehill or Danzig in his pedigree. Mares by stallions from that dominant line have already left Group 2 winner Moonovermanhattan, Group 1-placed Man Of Choice, stakeswinner Manapine, stakes-placed Manhattan Avenue & Right Or Wrong and city winners Boundary, Long Face Grace, Manna Trust & Scarlet Rain.

Manhattan Rain has 8 lots catalogued for the Inglis Classic Sale including two colts & a filly in the Arrowfield draft, and three fillies and two colts in the Inglis Melbourne Premier catalogue, among them Arrowfield’s daughter of Group-placed city winner Simply Put.