Murwillumbah trainer Matthew Dunn is looking...
Light Up Manhattan targets the 2015 Australian Derby at Royal Randwick during the upcoming Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival following a good Derby run at home in Melbourne during the Spring.
Prepared by promising Caulfield trainer Ciaron Maher, three-year-old Manhattan Rain colt Light Up Manhattan was last seen running fourth behind Preferment in the Group 1 AAMI Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington Racecourse on November 1.
That day the progressive youngster went right back to the tail end of the 16-starter field before jockey Mark Zahra weaved him through the runners to finish under two lengths off the winner in an excellent effort.
Maher loved the Victoria Derby run of Light Up Manhattan especially how much ground he made up to run in the first four.
“He came from a mile back and was the run of the race,” Maher told TVN on Monday.
That was Light Up Manhattan’s first look at the distance, and followed on from another close fourth when 1.9 lengths off Fontein Ruby in the Group 3 Caulfield Stakes (2000) 14 days earlier when just missing out on the placings after being held up at the 300m mark.
Formerly prepared by Peter Clarke, Light Up Manhattan has won just one of his eight career starts to date when beating a nothing field at Wangaratta over 1590m in September.
That’s a record Maher hopes he can improve on during the autumn when he takes him to Sydney for the first time chasing the riches of the $2 million Group 1 BMW Australian Derby (2400m) at Royal Randwick on April 4.
“He’s going to Sydney for the (ATC) Derby,” Maher confirmed.
Maher has a host of strong autumn hopes either back in work or preparing to come back very shortly.
Some of the stand outs from the stable targeting Group 1 glory in Melbourne next year include his Crown Oaks winning filly Set Square on track for the $1 million Group 1 Australian Oaks (2400m) in April and Akavoroun.
Lightly raced for his age and yet to win in Group company, Akavoroun will kick off his campaign in Melbourne and then head north to target a Sydney Group 1 double.
Maher has him heading towards the George Ryder Stakes in March and then the $2 million Group 1 Doncaster Mile Handicap (1600m) in April.
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