Bentley's turbo energised motor a joy to behold

Brian Russell - 17 May 2007

One of the most awesome performances in Australia this year was that turned in at Doomben on Saturday by Bentley Biscuit in taking the Group1 BTC Sprint. Although he only won narrowly from veteran international sprint star Takeover Target, the white blazed chestnut came with an overpowering finish after being extricated from the ruck by Nash Rawiller to record an exciting win that whetted appetites for more exploits.

Now looming large in the hunt for the title of not only Australia’s champion sprinter but also a worthy contender for best in the world honours, the Bentley appears to have a turbo energised motor which is a joy to behold. It also suggests that there is much Joy in the breeding of this five-year-old son of the Nureyev track record setting Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe winner Peintre Celebre and the minor Last Tycoon winner Tycoon Joy bred on Edinglassie, Muswellbrook for Victorians David Thomas and Lorraine Smith.

The breeding Joy derives from the name of a mare, Denise’s Joy, who has followed up greatness on the racetracks in the 1970s by becoming a matriarch that is one of the best sources of excellence of modern times. It is excellence that has played a significant role in the Gai Waterhouse stables in the 2006-07 racing year, two of her outstanding performers being Bentley Biscuit and his relation – through both male line and family -Tuesday’s Joy, a daughter of the Carnegie, a son of Sadler’s Wells. The sires of Bentley Biscuit and Tuesday Joy both won the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and their respective sires, Nureyev and Sadler’s Wells, are three-quarter brothers by Northern Dancer.

An outstanding classic performer bred and raced by John Singleton under his Strawberry Hill Stud banner, Tuesday Joy has included among her efforts at three wins in the STC Tad Kennedy Stakes-Gr.1 and VRC Wakeful Stakes-Gr.2, seconds in the VRC Oaks-Gr.1, AJC Surround Stakes-Gr.2, STC Gloaming Stakes-Gr.3, thirds in the AJC Australian Derby-Gr.1, Australian Oaks-Gr.1 and fourths in the AJC Spring Champion Stakes-Gr.1 and STC Storm Queen Stakes-Gr.1.

A half-sister to the Australian bred Sunday Silence AJC Australian Oaks-Gr.1 winner and STC Rosehill Guineas-Gr.1 third Sunday Joy, Tuesday Joy is from Queensland Oaks-Gr.1 winner Joie Denise, a daughter of Danehill and Denise’s Joy. She was a half-sister to Joy and Fun, a Showdown mare whose foals have included Euphoria (won the AJC Champagne Stakes-Gr.1), Christmas Tree (six sprint wins, including the STC Pago Pago Stakes-Gr.2; fourth STC Golden Slipper) and Christmas Spirit, the grandam of Bentley Biscuit.

Fittingly, one of Bentley Biscuit’s Group1 wins was at Randwick in the T.J. Smith Stakes, a race that honours Gai Waterhouse’s late father Tommy Smith, a giant among trainers whose statue now adorns this historic racecourse. One of his greatest fillies was Denise’s Joy, a winner of 13 races including ten stakes.

Her Group 1 efforts included wins in the WATC Australian Derby, VRC Victoria Oaks, QTC Queensland Oaks, MRC Underwood Stakes, seconds in the QTC Queensland Derby, STC Golden Slipper, AJC Champagne Stakes and thirds in the AJC Oaks, Australasian Champion Strakes, MRC Caulfield Thousand Guineas, MRC Underwood Stakes (at three) and BTC Doomben Cup.

Her rare high degree of excellence and her toughness appear to be the qualities that have seen Denise’s Joy establish such a successful modern family. In the past 25 years her descendants have included some 70 individual winners, among them over 40 stakes money earners, ten of which have been successful in Group 1 events.

Only a small number of breeders can enjoy the ownership of products of the Denise’s Joy family, but another way it can be accessed is through a sire representative in Conatus, a son of Danehill and the Rory’s Jester AJC Challenge Stakes-Gr.2 winner Light Up The World located at Heather Pascoe’s Plaintree Farms Stud at Cecil Plains,Toowoomba who started his career as a sire in 2004 with 83 mares and followed with 109 in 2004.

Conatus is a brother to World Peace (won the MRC Blue Diamond Stakes-Gr.3; third MRC Blue Diamond Stakes-Gr.1) and his dam is a half-sister to the mother of Bentley Biscuit.

As she is also by Danehill, Tuesday Joy’s dam is also a close relation through sire and dam to Conatus.They also have close ties through sire and dam to Group1 performers Miss Danehill (won the Queensland Oaks) and the prospective Flying Spur sire Primus (a placegetter in the Canterbury Guineas, Rosehill Guineas and Caulfield Guineas).

Trained by John Hawkes for a syndicate of leading identities in breeding and racing, including Magic Millions sales company boss and Baramul Stud owner Gerry Harvey, Conatus did not win a stakes event in his13 starts but showed that he had much of the ability expected of a horse bred on the Danehill – Rory’s Jester cross and from the Denise’s Joy family with four wins in the 1000-1400m range. He did not race at two, but followed up a 2.5 lengths trial win at Warwick Farm with successes as a short priced in his first two starts at three, wins at Randwick by 3.3 lengths and Gosford by 1.5 lengths. He also won twice at four before enforced retirement, scoring by 1.8 lengths at Warwick Farm (1000m in 0:57.4) and by four lengths at Newcastlein class record time. He won four Sydney trials.

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The greatest horsemen are the ones with the biggest hearts.

—Ty Murray