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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There is a touch of divinity even in brutes, and a special halo about a horse, that should forever exempt it from indignities. As for those magisterial truck-horses of the docks, I would as soon think of striking a judge on the bench as to lay violent hands upon their holy hides.

—Herman Melville
from Redburn