THEY'VE put in plenty of work and now it seems the Manhattan project is paying off for David and Justin Reynolds.
The Oberon father and son trainer-driver combination were delighted at the Bathurst Paceway on Wednesday night when their gelding Manhattan Island notched up the third win of his career.
While the four-year-old son of Mach Three has long shown potential, translating that into good results has proven tricky.
After just one win across his first 21 starts, Manhattan Island made his debut for the Reynolds stable in February.
His second run for the Oberon duo resulted in a win, but since then he'd shown a tendency to over race and had been unable to add to that success.
On Wednesday night before Manhattan Island lined up in the TAB Venue Mode Pace (1,730 metres), the Reynolds opted for some gear alterations in an attempt to relax him.
That decision, as well as a nice drive from Justin Reynolds, proved the tonic as Manhattan Island not only won, but did so in a career best mile rate of 1:57.5.
"He's got a really nice turn of foot but we've just had a lot of trouble with him over racing which has just taken that turn of foot out of him at the end of his races," the driver explained.
"But he did really good today and hopefully moving forward he can keep doing that.
"He got home really good, the hot speed early definitely helped. He's got a really nice turn of foot when he relaxes in his run and he relaxed pretty good today.
"Hopefully we've worked that side of him out now."
Going from barrier six, Reynolds dropped to the rear with Manhattan Island ($4.80) while Rocky Leigh set a hot pace up front with the first sectional a 27.6 seconds split.
He got off the pegs with a lap to go, but into the back straight Manhattan Island was in last. That changed with just over 600 metres to go as Reynolds set off three wide.
By the top of the home straight Manhattan Island had the lead and he ran away from his rivals. He finished 8.7m clear of nearest rival Watched From Above ($3.40 favourite).
Perennial placer Limbo Larry ($3.50) was a half neck further back in third.
"I went a tad after the 600, I probably could have left it a bit later but anyway, it didn't matter," Reynolds said.
"He is probably a bit sit-sprinter, just as long as he stays settled in the run like that."
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