We caught a glimpse of it last month in the Rosebud – maybe even as far back as the debut in January – but it took just 1 minute and 8.59 seconds for Menari to stake his claim as the rising star of Australian racing with a brilliant victory in Saturday’s Group Two Run To The Rose over 1200m at Rosehill Gardens.
The Corumbene Stud bred and raced/Gerald Ryan trained colt was sent out a $2.30 favourite and didn’t disappoint, easily despatching his rivals, including Pariah, who was fresh from an impressive performance in the Group Three San Domenico Stakes just two weeks ago.
It certainly appears that Menari might be something right out of the box and, not surprisingly, the cause of much excitement for Corumbene’s principal, George Altomonte.
“I’ve had high hopes for him (Menari) from the day he was born,” Altomonte points out, “he’s such an eye-catcher and a natural athlete.
“Lovely, big horse too. Great stride and once he gets into that cruising speed, is proving hard to catch.
“And one of the best attributes of the horse is his temperament – he’s such a placid horse for a colt.”
Altomonte confirmed that Menari would next start in the $1 million Group One De Bortoli Wines Golden Rose Stakes at Rosehill Gardens on 23 September – for which he was rapidly installed as pre-post favourite after Saturday’s win – but was non-committal as to further spring plans.
“There was a lot of talk on Saturday about Menari tackling the ($10 million) The Everest (14 October) after the Golden Rose, but I haven’t had anyone approach me about that race as yet, so only time well tell on that one,” Altomonte reveals.
“But, while I haven’t had any calls about the Everest, I’ve fielded plenty of calls from just about every major NSW stud farm!”
Little wonder. A 3YO colt by Champion Sire, Snitzel, Menari is out of the stakes winning General Nediym mare, Isurava (also raced by Corumbene), in turn a full sister to Group Two winning 2YO, Ichihara, and half sister to Queensland stakes winner, Au Chocolat … and, just to top it all off, Menari is closely related to 13-time Group One winner, Tie The Knot.
Altomonte is also looking forward to the eventual racetrack appearance of Menari’s 2YO full sister, Sweet Ava, who is likewise in work with Gerald Ryan.
“She (Sweet Ava) is a very nice filly and Gerald has a big opinion of her,” Altomonte adds. “She’s likely to trial in the next month to six weeks and we’ll see how she progresses from there.
“We don’t like to rush our young horses along though. We normally bring them in for a week or two to the stable, then back to Corumbene for a while, then to the pre-trainer and maybe back again to the trainer for a few weeks.”
Whatever Corumbene’s approach, it’s clearly working as home-breds include Golden Slipper winner, Overreach and Champion 2YO, Hasna.
Perhaps they’ll add another Group One winner to the Corumbene honour roll after the Golden Rose?
HOOFNOTE: Altomonte puts a lot of thought into the naming of his racehorses and Menari is no different: “Menari’s mum, Isurava, is by General Nediym, which has that military theme to it, so we named Isurava after a little village on the Kokoda Trail in New Guinea. Menari, in turn, is named after another small village on the track.
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