Mark Kavanagh’s in-form mare Wild Rain got the job done for the punters in the feature Melbourne race at Sandown Hillside over the weekend enjoying a step back in distance for the City Of Greater Dandenong Stakes 2015.
Winner of the Listed Lightning Stakes (1050m) in Adelaide during the winter before back-to-back seconds to kick off her spring – summer campaign including behind The Quarterback in the wet at Flemington on Crown Oaks Day, the Manhattan Rain four-year-old jumped as the $4.20 top fancy in Saturday’s $120,000 Listed City Of Greater Dandenong Stakes (1000m).
Also known as the Doveton Stakes, the handicap sprint was Wild Rain’s ninth run over the 1000m and she and jockey Stephen Baster combined to post her fifth win at the genuine sprint distance.
In a field of 11 she was able to put a tidy one and three-quarter lengths on the Peter Moody-trained runner-up Office Bearer ($9), third in the same Melbourne Cup Carnival race from November 5 that produced Saturday’s City Of Dandenong Stakes winner.
In third to finish off the trifecta two and a quarter lengths off the winner was the Leon & Troy Crostens-trained 60kg top weight Tried And Tired ($12) having his first run since July.
It had been a tough week for Kavanagh who faces cobalt related charges against the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board so the speedy win of Wild Rain proved a nice relief from the drama.
The mare is part owned by Kavanagh’s wife Isobel and son Levi, who also works as an assistant trainer for Kavanagh and was trackside on Saturday to enjoy the black-type victory.
“I think Mum will be happy,” he said.
“She might even take Dad out for dinner tonight.”
Baster had to be versatile with his ride on Wild Rain after plans to take a sit were thrown out when she jumped from barrier six in flying fashion.
A winner of six of her 15 starts to date for $344,750 in prize money, Wild Rain is set to head to Queensland’s Gold Coast Racecourse on January 9 where Kavanagh plans to target the lucrative $1 million Magic Millions Sprint (1100m).
He is yet to decide whether or not the mare will have another lead-up run into the restricted race.
Despite her excellent form over 1000m, Baster is confident the 1100m will prove an even more suitable distance for Wild Rain.
She ran second to Murt The Flirt over that distance at Ballarat in her lead-up run into the City Of Greater Dandenong Stakes beaten just a short half-head after doing it tough from barrier 12 of 15.
Back in early July at Caulfield she also saw the 1100m when second to Miss Promiscuity in the Group 3 Sir John Monash Stakes with Glen Boss in the saddle.
“They go quicker up there (in Queensland) and that will suit her even better,” Baster said post-win on Saturday.
“She’s got a bit of class and if she could get a sit that would be good.
“She’s very consistent she was just too speedy for them today.”
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2015 City Of Greater Dandenong Stakes Results
Sandown Race 7 – 05/12/2015
|1||9||WILD RAIN||Mark Kavanagh||Stephen Baster||–||6||55kg||$4.20F|
|2||4||OFFICE BEARER||Peter G Moody||Vlad Duric||1.75L||10||58.5kg||$9|
|3||1||TRIED AND TIRED||Leon & Troy Corstens||Steven King||2.25L||9||60kg||$12|
|4||12||PRETTY POSSUM||Russell Osborne||Dean Yendall||3L||5||54kg||$19|
|5||5||RELDAS||Robert Smerdon||Dwayne Dunn||3.1L||2||58.5kg||$6.50|
|6||10||DANGER CLOSE||Jason Warren||Chris Symons||4.1L||7||54kg||$14|
|7||7||PAGO ROCK||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Luke Currie||4.2L||4||57kg||$41|
|8||8||VATICAN||Byron Cozamanis||Patrick Moloney (a)||4.5L||8||57kg||$21|
|9||3||GRANE||Robbie Griffiths||Matthew Allen||4.6L||12||58.5kg||$13|
|10||6||JAVA||Lee & Anthony Freedman||Ben Melham||4.7L||11||58kg||$7|
|11||14||AUDINO||Robbie Laing||Jarrod Todd||7.7L||3||54kg||$151|
|SB||11||TUSCAN SLING||Darren Weir||Harry Coffey (a)||1||54kg||$6|
|–||15||DOWN THE HATCH||Robbie Griffiths||Jye McNeil (a)||–||0||–||–|
|–||2||DIAMOND OASIS||Joseph Pride||James Winks||–||0||–||–|
|–||13||BEAU RADA||John McArdle||–||–||0||–||–|