Manhattan Rain proving popular at Blue Gum Farm

published: 01 Sep 2018 in Stud News

WITH its long-standing tradition of standing high quality stallions, Victoria’s Blue Gum Farm, established by Graham Campbell back in 1980, is understandably one of the state’s most respected thoroughbred nurseries.

Ably run by Graham’s son Philip and his wife Patti, Blue Gum has been home to such successful sires as Noalcoholic (Champion First Season Sire), Rancho Ruler, Umatilla, Rubiton, Statue of Liberty and Encosta de Lago.
  The latter is the sire of 27 Gr.1 winners, 14 of them conceived during his time at Euroa. So it is apt Blue Gum eventually become home to one of Encosta de Lago’s best sons and upon his relocation to Victoria from NSW. That horse is the AJC Sires’ Produce Stakes-Gr.1 (1400m) winner Manhattan Rain (ex Shantha’s Choice by Canny Lad) and he proved immediately popular with local broodmare owners. Having served just 32 mares the previous season, the half-brother to influential stallion Redoute’s Choice from the internationally prolific Best In Show family found himself busy with a much better harem of 112.
  Among that tally were some very nicely performed mares such as the stakes winners Real Love, Beautiful Buns, Ana Royale, Exceedingly French, My Sister Lil and Rhythm In Paris, as well as the dams of the stakes winners Grand Journey/Proliferate, Rich Enuff, Antique Belle/Broadway Belle, Incumbent, Broken, Written Dash, Tuscan Fire, Blondie, Tropic Thunder, Fontiton and Power Trip. Also due to foal the first Victorian Manhattan Rains this spring are daughters of Choisir, Pins, Snippets, Shamardal, O’Reilly, Commands, Flying Spur, Stratum, Danewin, High Chaparral, Sebring, Fastnet Rock, General Nediym, Lonhro, Not a Single Doubt, Snitzel, Redoute’s Choice, More Than Ready, Rubiton, Street Cry, Zabeel and several by Charge Forward, dam sire of Manhattan Rain’s dual Gr.1 winner (Golden Slipper Stakes, Moir Stakes) She Will Reign.
  That recently retired triple millionaire is one of Manhattan Rain’s 13 stakes winners, with the high class South African galloper Whisky Baron (second in a recent Gr.2 race at Goodwood) also successful at the elite level.
  “He’s such a consistent stallion who has shown he can produce a topliner and he has a 2YO stakes winner in every crop. He has never served huge books and it is nice to see Victorians afford him the respect he deserves,” Philip Campbell said.
  Standing alongside Manhattan Rain at Blue Gum is a horse with a solid support base, the dual Gr.1-winning sprinter (Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes, William Reid Stakes) Turffontein (Johannesburg (USA)-Spirit 
of Grace by Dr Grace). The sire of Group winners Fontein Ruby, Fontiton and Lyuba has a headliner at the moment with the exciting Widgee Turf, winner of the 1400m Victoria Handicap-Gr.3 in March and looking set for a big spring on the back of a fast finishing and somewhat unlucky Lawrence Stakes-Gr.2 third behind Showtime in mid-August.
  “He always has a good horse bubbling away and had two Group winners last season. Patrick Payne has done a great job with Widgee Turf, who continues to prove competitive as he rises in class and Bold Thruster is showing a lot of promise in Singapore,” Philip said.
  The first runners by the Up And Coming Stakes-Gr.3 winner War, one of 190 stakes winners for the Champion Sire More Than Ready (USA), have just turned three. While he does not have massive numbers he has quietly been doing the job with a number of his lightly raced youngsters displaying potential. These include All In Brawl who looked good leading throughout at Geelong in late July, at his next outing only just run down in a 1000m contest at Moonee Valley. Or the two length Tasmanian debut winner Kwai and the promising Des Moines who finished close up in the Thoroughbred Breeders Stakes-Gr.3, and the rich VOBIS Gold Sires at Caulfield.
  Hailing from one of Australia’s most popular and prolific families, War (ex Deedra (NZ) by Zabeel) is a half-brother to the Gr.1 mare Fenway. His second dam Joie Denise (Danehill (USA) won the Queensland Oaks-Gr.1 and he is a great grandson of the influential Denise’s Joy, a multiple Gr.1 winner whose descendants include the big race winners More Joyous, Tuesday Joy, Sunday Joy, Joie Denise, Miss Danehill, Arlington Road, Euphoria and Joie de Grise.
  “There are glimpses of real promise amongst his first progeny and we have had a number of positive chats with trainers and owners who are very happy with their Wars.” 
  One of the best weight-for-age gallopers of his era, the gallant front-runner Glass Harmonium (IRE) (Verglas-Spring Symphony by Darshaan) won five of his 32 starts, along the way amassing in excess of $1.64m in stakes. Seen at his best taking out the Mackinnon Stakes-Gr.1 (2000m) and the Eagle Farm Cup-Gr.2 (2200m), the imported Michael Moroney-trained son of Gr.3-winning sprinter and successful sire (40SW) Verglas (by the Kenmare son Highest Honor) also won at Gr.3 and Listed level in the United Kingdom.
  From just a handful of runners Glass Harmonium, whose progeny can be expected to improve with maturity as he did, has made a most encouraging start to his stud career with three winners, The Grey Crusader, Ellehcim and Touch A Cloud, as well as Grand Symphony who at two was a gallant second to Kinky Boom in the Inglis 2Y0-RL at 1200m.
  “The early signs are promising considering he is a horse whose progeny are only going to get better with time,” Campbell said. n