The Blue Gum Farm team must have been busy over the long weekend.
Not necessarily with foaling down or stallion covers, but with following the winning progeny of their new sire Manhattan Rain.
First he had a winner Hawkesbury on Thursday, then one at Dubbo on Friday, a second in the Benalla Cup on the same day, another super winner at Moonee Valley that night (more about that later) and then a torrent of winners on Sunday at Ballina, Hong Kong and Singapore.
Added in amongst those was the Mornington win on Saturday of the Blue Gum Farm raised Gold Fields, a son of Churchill Downs bred by the Heffernan family.
Of course, Friday’s Valley winner was the top-class filly She Will Reign who made a triumphant return to the winner’s in the Group 1 Moir Stakes in stunning style.
The Golden Slipper winner ran into outright $10 million Everest favouritism with the brilliant first-up victory.
Phillip Campbell, still a “little hoarse” from cheering on Friday night, was just blown away with what She Will Reign achieved in the Moir.
“Coming down here as a Spring three-year-old, and having her first start the Melbourne way, on a tight Moonee Valley track, in a field of that quality and to give away the start, it was a phenomenal effort.”
“But it’s never been about just one with Manhattan Rain, and although he doesn’t have a large volume of runners, he always has a consistent number of winners by quality horses, leaving no doubt that he is a very good stallion.”
He certainly proved that internationally on Sunday with Grade One saluting at Sha Tin while Lim’s Magic proved too strong for his opponents in Singapore.
The latter’s trainer Stephen Gray was effusive about the horse’s future post-race.
“I don’t really get excited too much about my horses, but I think this one is a Group winner,” said Gray.
Moveovermanhattan just got pipped in the Benalla Cup on Friday while high class mare Tango Rain missed by a head in Sydney on Saturday. Both seem to have a big win just around the corner this Spring.
“I just love seeing this sire earn the respect he deserves, as he is not at a farm that is throwing tens of thousands on marketing and promotion. He is generating all the interest and attention himself and it’s great to watch,” Campbell said.
Intriguingly, a win by She Will Reign in the $10 million Everest – the richest race on turf in the world – would not only catapult Manhattan Rain to the top of the Australian Sires Table in a fortnight’s time, he would safely and proudly stay there for many months!
Manhattan Rain will service a top quality book of mares this season at his home, but what’s more important, is the astute group of breeders that are supporting him in numbers and that the bloodstock agents have their top clients booked in.
“Results like She Will Reign confirm the faith they have in the horse, and prove that he will deliver for them,” Campbell said.
“Being a son of Encosta, and being back here now at Blue Gum Farm it is really very exciting.”