Manhattan (NZ) Powers To Front-Running Victory in Mares Classic

17 November 2023

Manhattan (NZ) (Bettor’s Delight) let her class shine through when powering to front-running victory in the $50,000 Group Three Bob McArdle Sires Stakes Southern Mares Classic (1980m) at Addington on Show Day.

Manhatten (NZ) pictured as a yearling.

The NZB Standardbred graduate was the hot favourite for the black-type featured and she justified her short odds with a strong display for trainer-driver Bob Butt.

Manhattan is raced by the Loyal Travelling Reserves Syndicate following her purchase for $45,000 from the Studholme Bloodstock draft at the 2019 National Yearling Sale at Christchurch.

Bob Butt took no chances with his classy mare, pushing forward from a wide draw to lead early in Friday’s feature.

Apart from a few split seconds in the run home, Manhattan was always in control of the race.

“I thought the second horse might be going to get us, but my mare was waiting for her and she kicked again as soon as the other horse got up alongside her,” Butt said.

“She’s been a great mare for the owners and the thing about her is that she has just kept getting better right throughout her career.”

“The syndicate has had a heap of fun with her and it looks like they will have a bit more.”

“She went some super races in Aussie during the winter, she deserved to win a nice race after those runs and it was great she was able to do it today.”

Manhattan (NZ) and winning connections

Manhattan was second in last year’s Group One Queen Of Hearts (2200m) to fellow NZB Standardbred graduate Allamericanlover (NZ) (American Ideal).

Butt has the Group One feature in Manhattan’s sights again, hoping she can go one better in the 2023 edition.

Manhattan headed a quinella of NZB Standardbred graduates in the Southern Mares Classic, with Dance Till Dawn (NZ) (Art Major) running a gallant second.

Dance Till Dawn worked hard in the middle stages before chasing Manhattan hard in the run home, getting within a neck of the winner of the line.

The NZB Standardbred quinella makers pulled away from the rest of the field by four lengths as they fought out a thrilling finish.

Dance Till Dawn was secured by Diamond Racing Stables for $40,000 when she was offered by breeder-vendors Taffy Ltd at the 2020 National Yearling Sale at Christchurch.