Danehill sire descendant of Denise’s Joy firing

Brian Russell - 28 June 2009

CONATUS, the Danehill sire from a the Rory’s Jester AJC Challenge Stakes winner Light Up The World, a descendant of the fabulous racemare and matriarch Denise’s Joy standing at Heather Pascoe’s Plaintree Farms stud, Cecil Plains, Toowoomba, is starting to shape up as a competent sire. This was underlined by money earning performances of three of his progeny on Saturday June 20, the first crop 3-year-olds Tuscon Rain and Miss Campbell and the debut 2-year-old Verballed.

In the Noel Doyle stables at the Gold Coast, Tuscon Rain was successful that day in the 1100m event which opened the program at the Sunshine Coast. Out of Crying in the Rain, a Sanction winner of nine races, Tuscon Rain won by 1.8 lengths at the Gold Coast and finished second at Doomben at two.

Both bred and raced by Gerry Harvey, the other two Conatus runners on that day to pick up prize money competed at the meeting at Randwick. The Neville Voight trained Verballed, in particular, was impressive in finishing a tenacious short neck second in the juvenile event, a race in which she was well fancied following a four lengths trial win at Warwick Farm earlier in the month.

Verballed is from Accused, an unraced daughter of the Mr. Prospector sire Jade Robbery and the Best Western mare Hot Gig. Now based at Baramul in the Widden Valley, Harvey stood Best Western, a son of Bletchingly, at his earlier breeding farm, Broombee near Armidale in northern NSW.

The best his first crop Conatus 3-year-old Miss Campbell could do at the Randwick meeting was a 1.4 lengths fourth in a 1400m event, but she had followed seconds at Wyong (April) and Kembla Grange (May) with a win at Canterbury on May 27. Prepared at Randwick by Les Bridge, Miss Campbell is from Arrest, a Sydney 2-year-old winner bred on a cross of Golden Slipper winners, being by Marauding and out of the Luskin Star MRC Tranquil Star winner Shackle.

Gerry Harvey bred Conatus, raced him in a syndicate and arranged for this smart son of Danehill to stand at Plaintree Farms on a modest fee (in 2008 $3,300). His opportunity to date has been restricted, but he has ten winners and seven others placed so far in his first crop.

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My horses understand me tolerably well. I converse with them at least four hours every day. They are strangers to bridle or saddle; they live in great amity with me, and friendship to each other.

—Jonathan Swift from
Gulliver’s Travels