One runner well worth following from Anzac Day racing at Flemington is the 2YO colt Light Up Manhattan (Manhattan Rain-Luminata by Zabeel).
He became the second stakes performer for first season sire Manhattan Rain when he powered home late to nab second in the VRC Anzac Day S. 1210m LR, won by Merion, with Divan & Lazyaxl dead-heating for third.
It was an effort made more impressive by the colt’s car-park draw, which gave him no chance to save ground at any stage of the race. Jockey Steven King didn’t force him onto the pace early, instead allowing him to find his feet and settle near the rear of the 15-horse field.
Coming around the home turn, Light Up Manhattan was four wide and a long way off the leaders, and with 200 metres to run still had most of the field in front of him. King balanced him up before asking the colt to sprint and the response he received in the final 100 metres took the pair through the pack into second place, only a half-length from the winner.
It was the kind of performance that promises more and that’s exactly what Light Up Manhattan’s pedigree indicates too. Manhattan Rain trained on from juvenile Group 1 success to Group 1 placings in the Caulfield Guineas and the Cox Plate, and there is no shortage of toughness or class on the distaff side either.
The sires of Light Up Manhattan’s first four dams are among New Zealand’s very best sources of those qualities over the past half-century or so: multiple champion sire Zabeel, champion sire Noble Bijou and leading sires Mellay and Kurdistan.
Light Up Manhattan’s dam Luminata is a winning daughter of multiple stakeswinner Taciturn and a half-sister to The Hind (7 wins including 1998 Adelaide Cup G1) and Oregon Star (whose 8 wins included the 1997 Geelong Cup LR). A little further back the names of 1970s Group 1 winners Taras Bulba and Turfcutter can be found, while another branch of the family produced champion miler Starcraft, now a barnmate of Manhattan Rain at Arrowfield.
Bred by Queensland-based Andrew Taylor of GT Thoroughbreds, Light Up Manhattan was sold for $36,000 to Caulfield trainer Peter Clarke from the Supreme Thoroughbreds draft at the 2013 Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale.
Manhattan Rain has also been represented this season by Chengdu (stakes-placed in Perth), Giuliani (placed in Sydney and 4th, ATC Skyline S. G2) and the winner Downtown Manhattan. He will stand the 2014 season at a fee of $16,500 inc. GST.