Danehill – Denise’s Joy sire ends year well

Brian Russell - 7 July 2009

Conatus, a Danehill sire from the Rory’s Jester AJC Challenge Stakes-Gr.2 winner Light up the World, a descendant of the fabulous racemare and matriarch Denise’s Joy, was closing out the 2008-09 racing year in promising style with promising performances by his progeny in June.

A resident on behalf of his owners, a syndicate headed by his breeder, Gerry Harvey (Baramul stud), at Heather Pascoe’s Plaintree Farms stud at Cecil Plains on the fringe of Toowoomba, Conatus included in his June runners progeny who showed ability at Sydney, Brisbane, Caloundra, Hawkesbury and Goulburn

Three who competed in Sydney during May – June were the Gerry Harvey bred and raced Miss Campbell, Al Mateena – both first crop 3-year-olds – and the juvenile Verballed. The Neville Voight trained Verballed, a filly from a mare by the Mr. Prospector sire Jade Robbery (USA, followed up a four lengths trial win at Warwick Farm earlier in the month with a tenacious debut second at Randwick on June 20.

On the same program Miss Campbell, a daughter of the Marauding mare Arrest, was a1.4 lengths fourth in a 1400m event. It was the ninth start for the Les Bridge (Randwick) trained filly and had been preceded by a win at Canterbury on May 27 and seconds at Wyong (April 16) and Kembla Grange (May 2).

The other Conatus recent Sydney runner, the Harvey owned Matthew Smith Warwick Farm trained Al Mateena, followed a four lengths win at Goulburn on June 5 with a fifth at Canterbury on June 16. Out of a mare by Secret Savings (USA), she had been a head second at Gosford on May 7.

Another Conatus 3-year-old to compete in Sydney in June was the Steve Englebrecht trained Demetria, a product of another mare by Secret Savings (USA). She finished second at Canterbury on June 17 and then 10 days later won at Hawkesbury.

On June 20, the same day Verballed and Miss Campbell ran well at Randwick, the Noel Doyle, Gold Coast trained Tucson Rain followed up a head second on May 9 at the Sunshine Coast and thirds at Ipswich and the Gold Coast with a win at Sunshine Coast. Produced by a Sanction mare, he had won at the Gold Coast and been second at Doomben at two.

Also running well on June 20 was Gag Order, a Conatus filly from a Don’t Say Halo mare in the Liam Birchley stables at Eagle Farm who was having her seventh start when fifth of 18 on the home track. She had shown exciting promise in her first four starts, following a first up second with three wins, appearances at the Gold Coast (won by 4.8 lengths), Sunshine Coast (1.8 lengths) and Doomben (1.3 lengths).

The most recent Conatus winner on a leading track at the time of this report was another 3-year-old in the shape of the Doyle owned and trained Report for Duty. Out of a Sanction mare, he was having his third outing when successful at the Gold Coast on July 1.

Two of his other 3-year-olds are Princess Conny (Rod Craig, Warwick Farm; dam by Royal Academy (USA), a winner and second at Gosford, and the Harvey owned Punjab (Steve Englebrecht; dam by Timber Country (USA), successful Wyong.

Another promising second crop 2-year-old by Conatus is the Brian Wakefield, Doomben trained gelding Spiffing. Out of a mare by the Great Nephew sire Alshinfarah (GB), he has run three times for seconds at the Sunshine Coast (half neck) and Eagle Farm (a three-quarter length).

Conatus has approximately 70 potential runners in his second crop, 3-year-olds of 2009-10, and it is anticipated he will have many new winners through the year. That most of them will be at their best at sprint distances is predictable as his immediate pedigree is a surfeit of speed genes and he suggested they had flowed on in his own brief racing career.

Raced 13 times, he kicked off in brilliant style by winning 1100m events at his first two outings as an odds-on favourite, appearances at Randwick (won by 3.3 lengths in class record time) and Gosford (1.5 lengths).

His efforts also included wins at Warwick Farm (1.8 lengths; 1000m in 0:57.48) and Newcastle (4.0 lengths; 1400m in class record time). In addition he contested four trials on Sydney tracks and won them all.

Conatus is a brother by Danehill to World Peace (won MRC Blue Diamond Preview-Gr.3 and third in the MRC Blue Diamond Stakes-G). A winner of eight races at sprint distances, their dam Light Up The World, is a daughter of Golden Slipper winner Rory’s Jester and Christmas Spirit, a grandaughter by Bletchingly of Denise’s Joy.

Another of the well credentialed sires available in Queensland at modest cost, Conatus can be accessed by contacting Heather Pascoe, Plaintree Farms,1344 Cecil Plains Road, Toowoomba, 0418 788 877, (07) 4630 4071, fax (07) 4630 4671, email office@plaintree.com.au

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Henceforth the mares demand the greater care. When in the course of the months they are in foal. Allow them not to gallop in the swirling floods, But let them graze in the glades by brimming streams.

—Virgil