Nothing plain about the Plaintree Farm sires

By Brian Russell - 25 July 2005

It is doubtful in the long history of Queensland breeding that any stud has offered a trio of sires with so much excellence in their immediate genes as offered by Count Albrecht, Sunday Knight and Conatus. It is foreseeable that they will be the pathfinders for Plaintree Farms becoming a new powerbase in Australian breeding”

One of the great values of the three sires available at PLAINTREE FARMS near Toowoomba is that they are all outstanding individuals physically and each of them represents different male lines that are among the greatest modern forces in world breeding, MR PROSPECTOR, DANEHILL and his sire DANZIG and the awesome Japanese superstud SUNDAY SILENCE.

MR PROSPECTOR, a spectacular success world-wide through his sons, grandsons and great grandsons, is available at PLAINTREE FARMS through COUNT ALBRECHT, a lightly raced winning son of GEIGER COUNTER and Lady Giselle, the NUREYEV mare made famous as the dam of the current giant of the New Zealand breeding ZABEEL.

Although he was also a minor winner in a short racing career in America, GEIGER COUNTER has been out in front as the best MR PROSPECTOR sire in this part of the world. A representative of the same family which produced Sadler’s Wells and Fairy King, GEIGER COUNTER has had Australian bred progeny win over 1000 races and earn in excess of $18million. In one year his Australian statistics demonstrated his prepotency for excellence to the extent that with his oldest four-year-olds he had winners up to Group1 level of 109 races and $4million. He offers much to transmit on.

COUNT ALBRECHT is one of two foundation sires at PLAINTREE FARMS, retiring in 2003 with SUNDAY KNIGHT, the Arrowfield Stud bred and owned big, striking near black son of SUNDAY SILENCE whose inherent genes for excellence were showcased at the 2005 Sydney autumn racing carnival by his close relation FASHIONS AFIELD challenging for the title of best juvenile of the year. After winning her first three starts including the STC Reisling Stakes-Gr.2, this Gai Waterhouse trained filly ran a great second in the Golden Slipper and then scored a dominating win in the AJC Sires’ Produce Stakes-Gr.1.

FASHIONS AFIELD is from Attire, an American bred half-sister to SUNDAY KNIGHT. Also siblings to ROSE OF DANEHILL (won three Group 2 races and runner up in the Caulfield Thousand Guineas and Blue Diamond Stakes), they are from the BLETCHINGLY Group1 star sprinter WRAP AROUND, a daughter of BEACH GOWN (7 wins including five stakes).

SUNDAY SILENCE, the sire of SUNDAY KNIGHT, has had very few of his progeny race outside Japan, but they include Group1 winners in England and France and also in Australia where he has benefited from a unique Japan-Australian breeding environment program. An Australian bred son of SUNDAY SILENCE such as SUNDAY KNIGHT offers a breeders a rare chance to tap the genetic powers of this giant of breeding.

One of the most dynamic sprinting pedigrees owned by any young sire currently at stud in Australia is that possessed by CONATUS, the very smart Sydney performer who went to stud at PLAINTREE FARMS in 2004 by arrangement with his owner and very solid supporter Gerry Harvey (Baramul Stud). CONATUS is by DANEHILL, the European champion sprinter who has rewritten breeding history as a dual hemisphere sire, providing more winners including superior performers in the history of the thoroughbred and who is destined to be the ruling force in Australia for many years with sire sons such as the Arrowfield Stud sires Redoute’s Choice, Danzero and Flying Spur and also through other sons in Catbird, Commands, Danehill Dancer, Danewin, Lion Hunter and Shovhog already transmitting excellence.

CONATUS is a brother to WORLD PEACE (won the Blue Diamond Preview and third Blue Diamond Stakes) and from the high class sprinter LIGHT UP THE WORLD, a mare who brings to the Danehill male line awesome immediate colonial breeding. She is by Golden Slipper winner RORY’S JESTER and from CHRISTMAS SPIRIT, a daughter of BLETCHINGLY and a grandaughter of the celebrated Australian racemare DENISE’S JOY, also ancestress of Group1 winners ARLINGTON ROAD, SUNDAY JOY, JOIE DE GRISE and THORN PARK.

Not surprisingly, CONATUS was very popular with broodmare owners last year, his first season, one in which he proved very fertile and looked after mares by such good sires as Secret Savings,Thunder Gulch, Desert Prince, Marauding, Timber Country, Zabeel. Encosta de Lago, Royal Academy, Last Tycoon, Canny Lad, Scenic, Snippets, Marscay and Geiger Counter.

It is doubtful in the long history of Queensland breeding that any stud has offered a trio of sires with so much excellence in their immediate genes as offered by Count Albrecht, Sunday Knight and Conatus. It is foreseeable that they will be the pathfinders for Plaintree Farms becoming a new powerbase in Australian breeding.

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A horse will often out run its pedigree but seldom outbreed it.

—Federico Tesio