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3 September 2016

First Stakes Win for Felines

Mark Smith - Breednet - 3 September 2016

In Felines eight wins to date, four have come over the 1000 metres at Randwick including a maiden stakes success in Saturday’s Group III James Boag’s Premium Concorde Stakes (1000m) at Randwick.

Jason Collett gave the Kris Lees-trained five-year-old daughter of Conatus the run of the race before gaining a split on the turn to put the race to bed in a matter of strides.

Hitting the front 300m from home, Felines showed few signs of weakening to run out a one and a half-lengths winner over Federal (Medaglia d’Oro) with the Joe Pride-trained Craftiness (Starcraft) three lengths back in third.

The Gerry Harvey homebred advances her overall record to 8 wins, 4 seconds and 4 thirds from 24 starts with earnings of $366,205.

Gerry Harvey was talking about sending her to stud but hopefully that might help change his mind,” Lees said.

She’s going terrific. She was down in the weights, freshened-up nicely into this and even when I thought she was vulnerable topping the rise, she rallied and found again.”

Less said he would try to keep Felines at her pet distance.

They don’t run enough of them (1000m),” Lees said.

I will just see what Gerry wants to do. There might be an option in Melbourne for her but as long as it’s at 1000m, she will be a chance wherever she goes.”

Felines is the first foal of the 4-time winning Tale Of The Cat mare Jellicles a half-sister to Group II Awapuni Gold Cup winner Better Than Ever (French Deputy) who became a champion in Singapore.

Jellicles has a 2yo filly by Big Brown (USA) and a yearling filly by Redoute’s Choice. She was covered by More Than Ready (USA) last spring but failed to conceive.

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22 May 2016

A First For Conatus

Mark Smith - Breednet - 22 May 2016

Baramul Stud supremo Gerry Harvey virtually fought a lone hand in supporting the Danehill stallion Conatus and he was rewarded for his loyalty when his homebred Palazzo Pubblico captured Saturday’s $100,000 Listed Bright Shadow Handicap (1200m) at Doomben to become her sire’s first stakes-winner.

Ridden by Michael Cahill, the Matthew Smith-trained mare defeated Serenade (Star Witness) by three-quarters of a length with Miss Tenpins (Pins) the same distance back in third.

She travelled like the winner all the way and finished the race off very well,” Cahill told AAP.

Sometimes you worry they won’t finish it off when they travel that strongly but she certainly did.”


Smith said he was undecided whether the 4yo mare would make another start in Brisbane or spelled with an eye on a Melbourne campaign in the spring.

A couple of times in Sydney she’s been a bit soft at the end of 1100 metres but she ran the trip right out today,” he said.

When she drew well in this race it was an easy decision to run her and she got a soft run which certainly helped.”

Palazzo Pubblico advances her overall record to 6 wins, 1 second and 2 thirds from 17 starts for earnings of $280,840.

She is the second foal and second winner for the unraced General Nediym mare Piazza Del Campo who is a daughter of the grand Tasmanian star My Sienna (Weasel Clause) whose six wins included the Group II Wakeful Stakes and Group II Edward Manifold Stakes and was runner-up in the Group 1 Victorian Oaks.

My Sienna left seven foals for Gerry Harvey before her death in 2012.

She proved to be a disappointment but Palazzo Pubblico becomes her second stakes-winning granddaughter.

My Sienna’s first foal, the unraced Danehill mare Pink City, is the dam of the More Than Ready mare Moreish the winner of the Group III Western Australian Oaks and Listed Ascot One Thousand Guineas and runner-up in the Group II Western Australian Derby.

Piazza Del Campo has a yearling filly by Big Brown (USA) and a colt foal by Congrats (USA). She was bred back to Stratum last spring.

Retired to Plaintree Stud in 2004, Conatus was given a year off last season and is fit and ready to fire again in 2016.

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8 August 2013

Juvenile winner bound for Hong Kong

NZ Racing Desk – NZTM News - 8 August 2013

Congressman (NZ) (Conatus) Congressman (NZ) (Conatus)

Congressman’s impressive last-start win has caught the attention of overseas interests and he is unlikely to race again in New Zealand.

“He has been vetted for Hong Kong and it’s a matter of waiting for the money to come through,” Pukekohe trainer Nigel Tiley said.

Congressman (NZ) (Conatus) was bred and owned by Westbury Stud principal Gerry Harvey, whose colours were also carried to a two-year-old victory last season by Conceptual. Trained by Tiley, he too has been sold to Hong Kong interests.

“They were put in the stable to market them and fortunately when one walks out the door there’s another one to walk in the box,” Tiley said.

Congressman had finished third on debut behind the highly-regarded Cauthen and then returned to Te Rapa last month for a clear-cut victory over 1200 metres.

One horse who promises to keep the stable to the fore this season is the promising Albany Reunion, a son of Fastnet Rock who has impressed in his two appearances to date.

Out of a winning Fusaichi Pegasus mare, he won at the first time of asking in February and bridged the gap to stakes company at his next appearance when third behind So Wotif in the Gr.3 Mr Tiz Trophy.

“He’s in pre-training with Annabelle Johnson so I see him every morning,” Tiley said. “He’s about two weeks away from coming back and we’ll kick him off in his own grade and then reassess him after that.”

In the meantime, Tiley is hopeful Albany Reunion’s stablemate Mahbeer can turn his luck around in the Property Brokers-Trevor Kenny 1000 at Te Aroha on Friday. “I’m happy with him and he’s done well since he last raced,” he said.

Mahbeer has been lightly-tried and was runner-up at Counties at his seasonal debut before finishing fifth after racing keenly in behind runners at Avondale.

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29 July 2013

Congressman in line for Guineas - if buyers don’t swoop in first

NZTM News - 29 July 2013

Nigel Tiley is keen for a crack at early three-year-old honours in the new season with Congressman (NZ) (Conatus), although outside forces may yet scupper his plans for the Te Rapa winner.

“To be honest, we have been taking it one race at a time with him because he’s for sale. But if he doesn’t sell then we’ll be looking at those Guineas races,” the Pukekohe trainer said.

“The Wanganui Guineas is a likely one and horses in form at this time of the year can carry on into the spring.

“The better tracks won’t worry him at all – he ran third in a trial at Cambridge one day on a good track.”

Congressman is raced by high-profile owner Gerry Harvey, whose colours were also carried to a two-year-old victory at Te Rapa last month by the Tiley-prepared Conceptual – since sold to Hong Kong interests.

Both horses are sons of Conatus and were bred by the Westbury Stud principal, who also bred their Danehill stallion at his Baramul Stud in the Widden Valley. Raced by a Harvey syndicate, he won four races before retiring to Plaintree Farms in Queensland.

Congressman had finished third on debut behind the highly-rated Cauthen after making the pace and, with different tactics employed, he was a dominant winner of yesterday’s Universal Beef Packers Juvenile.

“He ran into a superstar first-up and there was natural improvement in him,” Tiley said. “We expected him to go well and the plan was to ride him in behind them.”

Congressman trailed the leader to the turn before rider Danielle Johnson barged her way out in the straight and the gelding sprinted clear to beat Cursive (NZ) (Darci Brahma) by a handsome margin with Royal Dominance (NZ) (Shinko King) making good ground for third.

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Half the failures in life arise from pulling in one’s horse as he is leaping.

—Augustus Hare