Conatus and Count Albrecht prove its all in the family

10 August 2005

Plaintree Farms is delighted to join leading New Zealand nursery Cambridge Stud in celebrating the news today that both the Hong Kong based Vengeance Of Rain (NZ) and Hong Kong performed, Grey’s Inn (NZ) have been awarded top world wide rankings in the latest IFHA World Top 50 Leading horses.

Vengeance Of Rain (119), trained by David Ferraris, having won the Mercedes-Benz Hong Kong Derby (HK-G1), the Audemars Piguet QE II Cup (G1) and the Hong Kong Champions & Chater Cup (HK-G1) treble, earned himself the runner-up spot behind Australia’s Grand Armee (120) in the Intermediate-distance category.

South African-trained Grey’s Inn (117) was included in the rankings by virtue of his achievements in the Audemars Piguet QE II Cup (G1).

Both Vengeance of Rain and Grey’s Inn are sons of the great Zabeel, who is half brother to Plaintree Farms sire Count Albrecht, who is now entering his third season at the Darling Downs based stud. Both sires are sons of the fabulous broodmare Lady Giselle (Nureyev).

Grey’s Inn is from Great Verdict, a daughter of the now deceased colonial sire Christmas Tree (Biscay-Joy and Fun). Christmas Tree whose wins included the STC Pago Pago Stakes Gr.2 – is half brother to the wonderful broodmare Christmas Spirit, grand-dam of the exciting young speed sire Conatus, now commencing his second season at Plaintree Farms.

Both Conatus and Christmas Tree are amongst the scarce handful of sires who are directly descended from the legendary Denise’s’ Joy.

This really shows that our horses are equal to those of any other leading racing country with international judges ranking them amongst the very best in the world,” Hong Kong Jockey Club Director of Racing, Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges, commented on the Hong Kong based rankings. “With growing participation by Hong Kong horses in international competition in future years, I would confidently expect our best horses to occupy more and more places within the rankings.”

Zabeel, incidently, ended the season as the leading living sire on the Australian Leading Sires list with progeny earnings of $A10,286,190, behind the deceased Danehill.

The Champion Sire is also the leading New Zealand based sire in Hong Kong where his progeny have earned HK$35.3 million (NZ$6.5m) in 2005.

His progeny achievements included Group I winners Savabeel, winner of the AJC Spring Champion Stakes and the WS Cox Plate, Bazelle, winner of the ARC Auckland Cup, Vengeance Of Rain, winner of the HKJC¹s Queen Elizabeth Cup, Champions and Chater Cup, Audemars Piguet and Hong Kong Derby, and Dizelle, the winner of the AJC Australian Oaks.

We are excited to be standing two young sires whose immediate family are now proving they can mix it with the very best in the world” said Plaintree Farms principal Heather Pascoe.

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It was a great treat to us to be turned out into the home paddock or the old orchard; the grass was so cool and soft to our feet, the air so sweet, and the freedom to do what we liked was so pleasant; to gallop, to lie down, to roll over on our backs or to nibble the sweet grass. Then it was a very good time for talking, as we stood together under the shade of the large chestnut tree.

—Anna Sewell from
Black Beauty