John Sadler is not only chasing dual feature success at Caulfield this Saturday, he is hoping to do it with members of the same family.
They are both out of the Rubiton mare Personal Ensign, a former star resident of Blue Gum Farm.
But while they share the same mother, they have contrasting racing styles, which would be of some relief to the Pakenham trainer, who has spent several seasons trying to harness Sartorial Splendor’s aggressive racing style.
Manhattan Thunder, a son of Manhattan Rain, unwound a big finish from the rear to win a quality two-year-old maiden at Sale on July 8.
He was a colt that Sadler paid $150,000 for at last year’s Inglis Premier Yearling Sale and has been impressed with from the time he set foot in the stable.
The debut win came over 1113m and Sadler toyed with the idea of going to Saturday’s 1200m two-year-old race with the now-gelding, but figured the VOBIS Gold Ingot was as good a race as any to test him over 1400m.
“Because of the extra prizemoney for the 1400-metre race, plus the fact I want to get a feel for him running that trip, we’ve gone there,” Sadler said.
“That might be as far as we wants but Jamie Mott, who rode him at Sale, said he didn’t think 1400 would be a problem.”
Manhattan Thunder is the second-last foal from Personal Ensign, who died last October.
She has a rising two-year-old colt by Turffontein, who is a brother to her best product, Blue Diamond Preview and Prelude winner Fontiton.
Personal Ensign’s foal between Sartorial Splendor and Manhattan Thunder is In My Feelings, who is also by Manhattan Rain, and is an acceptor at Warracknabeal on Monday and Bairnsdale on Tuesday.
Sartorial Splendor, who is by Brazen Beau, renews hostilities with a handful of horses he met in the Sir John Monash Stakes (1100m), plus Streets Of Avalon, King Of Sparta and Scallopini, and Sadler is buoyed by his improving manners and hoof condition, which have also caused ongoing issues.
“He’s now just starting to put it together, where he’s not overracing and his last three starts, even though he hasn’t won, have definitely three of the better runs in his career.”
Sartorial Splendor’s Monash Stakes third placing followed filling the same slot in the Listed Santa Ana Lane Sprint (1200m) at Flemington and a second placing over 1100m at the same track.
Damian Lane will have his first ride aboard Sartorial Splendor at Caulfield on Saturday and also has the job aboard Manhattan Thunder.