More Joyous steals show at Randwick Epsom-Metropolitan meeting

Tony Arrold - The Australian - 6 October 2009

RAIN and a soaked track could not dampen the spirit of enthusiasm generated by three-year-old filly More Joyous in what was the performance of a smorgasbord stakes race card at Randwick’s Epsom-Metropolitan meeting on Saturday.

Some fine efforts were seen through the 10 stakes race events, with the flavour of the day set by the debut of the new season’s two-year-olds in the Listed Gimcrack Stakes and Listed Breeders Plate, and the quality runs by respective winners Gybe, by Fastnet Rock, and Run For Wilson, by Shamardal.

But More Joyous, in the Group I Flight Stakes, was extra special – and not only in the execution of the win. Hers was a victory in celebration of a family that must surely rank as the jewel of the Australian Stud Book.

The one factor lacking from this authoritative win was that More Joyous’s breeder-owner, John Singleton, was not at Randwick. While he has a public profile as a knockabout Aussie who shouts the public bar after big raceday wins, Singleton is – and has been for more than four decades – a fanatical backer of racing. And racing must now recognise his arrival as a serious player, with his achievement of the common goal of the breeding industry to breed the best.

As to past achievements, he can look proudly to multiple Group I winner Tuesday Joy (by Carnegie) and her Group I AJC Oaks-winning half-sister Sunday Joy (Sunday Silence), and to More Joyous, who is from Sunday Joy, for the present and future.

The recently retired Tuesday Joy and Sunday Joy are confirmed in foal this spring to More Than Ready, sire of More Joyous.

More Joyous came to the Flight Stakes off a sterling win in the Group II STC Tea Rose Stakes, and her Group I victory at her seventh start was from the same mould – right on the pace and accelerating with a fluid gear change when required, going clear by 1 1/2 lengths at the post.

While everything is in place for More Joyous in the ability department, physically it is not – but six months or so of maturing will make her a formidable package.

Indeed, More Joyous could in time become like her grand-dam, Denise’s Joy, a robust individual and very much the centrepoint of the fabulous family that has developed around her.

Denise’s Joy was bred and raced by Dick Smith, brother of legendary trainer Tom Smith (father of More Joyous’s trainer Gai Waterhouse), who prepared her throughout her racing career of 51 starts over four seasons, two years to five years.

By the imported French-bred Seventh Hussar, Denise’s Joy was in a vintage crop that included her notable stablemates Toy Show, Silver Shadow and Cheyne Walk, as well as Lord Dudley and Ngawyni, and, from across the Tasman, Balmerino, among others.

She would retire with 13 wins, including five that have Group I status today.

At stud, Denise’s Joy produced 10 foals between 1978 and 1993. Six of her foals went racing and three of them were winners, notably Joie Denise, by multiple champion Danehill. Emulating her dam as the winner of the Group I QTC Queensland Oaks, Joie Denise and four other filly foals from Denise’s Joy can account directly, or through a daughter, for the winners of 10 Group I races to date, with More Joyous the newest member of the clan.

Together they have produced more than 50 stakes winners.

This family has its origins in Australia through Holiday Scene, a British-bred mare imported in 1950. By Fun Fair, Holiday Scene was foaled by Tide Time, who was a daughter of Samphire, a half-brother to celebrated speedster Mumtaz Mahal.

Holiday Scene produced 10 foals in Australia, five of them to the Woodlands Stud import Pipe of Peace, with the first of that group the filly Fun For All. A dual Randwick winner and placed in the Flight Stakes, Fun For All became a dual Group I producer at stud – first, Denise’s Joy, then AJC Derby winner Great Lover (to Spoiled Lad).

A third foal, the Wilkes filly Chorus Girl, was not far short of Group I quality.

In addition to More Joyous, Sunday Joy, Tuesday Joy and Joie Denise, the Denise’s Joy family’s other Group I winners are Miss Danehill, Arlington Road, Bentley Biscuit, Thorn Park, Euphoria and two-time South African winner Joie de Grise.

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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