An extended break since a winter campaign was no barrier to Manhattan Thunder winning for stand-in jockey Dan Stackhouse at Moonee Valley on Saturday.
The lightly-raced son of Geisel Park sire Manhattan Rain had won a Sale juvenile on debut before a lean 3yo season saw him unplaced in the races like the $750,000 Inglis Sprint (1200m) at Flemington and $200,000 VOBIS Gold Dash (1200m) at Sandown.
“I was out chasing cows when the call came through to replace Luke (Nolen) and I couldn’t have scripted it better,” Stackhouse said after the Moonee Ponds Traders Hcp (1000m). “He stepped and travelled well behind the speed and I was always confident he would pick up the leaders.
“He had a bit of a think about it when he got to the front but held them off.”
Manhattan Thunder (4g Manhattan Rain – Personal Ensign by Rubiton) is trained by John Sadler and is a half-brother to Stakes winners Fontiton (G2 MRC Blue Diamond Prelude) and Sartorial Splendour (G3 MVRC Australia Stakes).
“All credit to John. He came here without a jump-out or a trial but had been working well on the grass at home,” stable rep Sarah Fannin said. “John wants to keep him fresh and we may look at one of those 55 Second Challenges here this prep.”
Manhattan Rain’s first locally-bred foals are on the ground and he’s stopping Westspeed mares at a 94% fertility rate. There should be upwards of 50 colts and fillies once ASB returns are completed.
Geisel Park’s first Manhattan Rain yearlings will be catalogued for the 2025 Perth Magic Millions. It’s consignment for February’s Sale includes yearlings by resident sire All American and interstate stallions Yes Yes Yes, Nicconi, Toronado (Ire) and Starspangledbanner.
All American sired the latest of his 29 wins in Hong Kong when the David Hayes-trained Regent Glory landed the Lukfook Wedding Collection Hcp (1200m) at Sha Tin last Sunday. “It was good to see him do that,” jockey Zac Purton said. “Things just didn’t go well for him at Happy Valley last time.”
Hayes prepared All American (Red Ransom) to a Group 1 victory over So You Think at Flemington. “Regent Glory is confident and more relaxed,” he said. “He got an injury and had to have a screw put in his fetlock after arriving in Hong Kong.”