Double at Rosehill Gardens for Denise’s Joy family

Brian Russell - 1 September 2010

DENISE’S JOY, one of the great matriarches of Australian breeding at this time, contributed to a winning double at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.The first leg was provided by the Gerry Harvey bred and raced Verballed, a 4-year-old mare who gets her Denise’s Joy through her sire, the up and coming Danehill winner getter Conatus.

Owned by a Harvey headed syndicate, bred by him and based at Heather Pascoe’s Plaintree Farms stud near Toowoomba in Queensland, Conatus is a former smart Sydney performer out of AJC Challenge Stakes winner Light Up The World, a Rory’s Jester grandaughter of Joy and Fun, a daughter of Showdown and Denise’s Joy.

As she is by Danehill and from Denise’s Joy, Joie Denise, the Queensland Oaks winner who is the grandam of More Joyous, the second leg of the double at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday, has very close blood ties with Conatus.

Bred and raced by Gerry Harvey’s partner in the Magic Millions Sales company and the Vinery stud, John Singleton (Strawberry Hills Stud Syndicate), the 4-year-old More Than Ready mare More Joyous on Saturday took her record to seven wins in ten starts and earnings to nearly $800,000 when she recorded a dominant win in the $100,000 Sheraco Stakes.

The effort of the Gai Waterhouse trained More Joyous, her first appearance since March 6 and her fifth straight win, suggested she will be formidable in big races in the spring. Her earlier successes have included the AJC Flight Stakes, Light Fingers Stakes, STC Reisling Slipper Trial and Tea Rose Stakes.

More Joyous is one of the most superbly bred horses, male or female, in Australia. She was got by Vinery stud’s very successful shuttle sire More Than Ready from Sunday Joy, an AJC Oaks winner who resulted from the mating to southern hemisphere time of Joie Denise (Danehill – Denise’s Joy) in Japan with Sunday Silence. In addition Sunday Joy is a half-sister to the Singleton bred and owned Tuesday Joy (by the Sadler’s Wells sire Carnegie), a champion mare who won seven races, including four Group1s, and earned $3.2million.

More Joyous, Conatus’s dam Light Up The World, Sunday Joy,Tuesday Joy and Joie Denise are among more than 30 stakes winners descending from Denise’s Joy, an outstanding galloper in the Tommy Smith stables in the1970s. She won13 races, including the VRC Oaks, MRC Underwood Stakes, QTC Queensland Oaks and WATC Australian Derby, and at two was second in the STC Golden Slipper and AJC Champagne Stakes.

As a producer of winners, Denise’s Joy was not a success, only three of her ten foals winning and Joie Denise (foaled when her mother was19) being the only one successful at stakes level. However, seven of the foals were fillies and between them they have established a top grade family.

Regrettably, the Denise’s Joy descendants have been light on for colts used at stud. The only two with runners at this time appear to be Thorn Park (by Spinning World), a prominent New Zealand sire at the Windsor Park stud, and Conatus. Also represented on Saturday by Cataclysmic, a third in Perth and earlier winner four times, and last week by two winners at Rockhampton and one at Goulburn, Conatus is making an impression as a sire from modest opportunity.

Other Conatus progeny include Brisbane winners Gag Order (six wins, stakes fourth), Sky Effort and Convictor and Sydney winners Miss Campbell and Solatus. Conatus stands the 2010 season on $5,500.

A Denise’s Joy family produced sire who is to have representation over the next 12 months through first crop 2-year-olds is Primus, a Flying Spur Group 3 winner and money earner in four Group1s. Standing at the Chatswood stud at Seymour in Victoria and used over books of 122, 132 and 136, he is from a grandaughter of Denise’s Joy.

One of the best bred colts ever from this family appears to be the Singleton bred Redoute’s Choice yearling half-brother to More Joyous. He is booked into the Magic Millions sale to be held at the Gold Coast in January.

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Beware of him who has no use for horses.

—Winston Churchill from
Richard Carvel Volume 4