NZ juvenile Conatus winner all Gerry Harvey breeding

Brian Russell - 25 June 2013


CONATUS (Danehill (USA) – Light Up The World, by Rory’s Jester; Denise’s Joy Family) pictured at Plaintree Farms, Toowoomba.

GERRY HARVEY, one of Australia’s foremost merchants, racehorse owners and breeders, not only bred and races Conceptual, the 2-year-old gelded son of the Danehill sire Conatus (Plaintree Farms, Toowoomba) who has emerged as a potential quality performer in New Zealand, but also the sire and the first two dams.

Now raced twice, Conceptual missed the jump when second on debut over 800m at Avondale on in late May and then finished strongly to win the DD Bloodstock 1200m at Te Rapa on Saturday June 8. After the win the trainer, Nigel Tilley, reportedly commented, “He’s not very big, but he is tough.” Conceptual is the first winner in New Zealand for Conatus, but his one hundred plus successful runners, besides Australia, include winners in Singapore, Malaysia, Macau and Hong Kong.

Many of the winners have been bred by Gerry Harvey using the huge quality band of broodmares he has headquartered at his Baramul Stud, Widden Valley.They include the Sydney winners I Walk The Line (also won Brisbane), Lotus Flower, Godigo (also Singapore), Under Arrest, Bonzerina, Solatus, Military Secret (also Perth), Verballed and Miss Campbell.

Also bred on Baramul was Conatus, a galloper who, raced by a Harvey syndicate, showed up as a horse of very good potential in a brief career of 13 starts. Odds on, he followed a 2.5 lengths trial win at at Warwick Farm with dashing wins at his first two starts, appearances at Randwick (3.3 lengths) and Gosford (1.5 lengths). Later he won at Newcastle (4.0 lengths) and Warwick Farm (1.8 lengths).

His speed was not surprising as he possesses fashionable brilliant breeding, being by Danehill and out of Light Up The World, a high class sprinter by Rory’s Jester and from Christmas Tree, a mare by Bletchingly and from Joy And Fun, by Showdown and from the marvelous matriarch Denise’s Joy.

When he was withdrawn from racing, Conatus was installed on behalf of his owners at Heather Pascoe’s Plaintree Farm, one at which he stands the 2013 season on $5,500.

Foaled in New Zealand, his latest good winner, Conceptual, has a very modern pedigree, including inbreedings to Danehill (2×4), Northern Dancer (4×4) and Mr. Prospector (5×4).The dam, Frolicsome, is by Encosta de Lago and from Danwood, a half-sister by Woodman (Mr. Prospector) to Zagreb, a Zabeel winner of three Listed events, runner up in the South Australian Derby and third at Flemington in the Australian Cup.

When Conceptual won, he made Conatus the fourteenth sire to have one or more juvenile winners in New Zealand in 2012-13 who were got in Australia.The other sires in order of most money are Bernardini (USA), Tale of the Cat (USA), Lonhro, Commands, Myboycharlie (IRE), Charge Forward, Fastnet Rock, Snitzel, Bel Danoro, Redoute’s Choice, Oratorio (IRE), Not A Single Doubt and Dehere (USA). Bernardini, a Darley shuttler by A.P. Indy, is home and hosed as New Zealand’s champion juvenile sire, his nearest rivals being New Zealand based Darci Brahma, a son of Danehill, and Any Suggestion, son of the Danehill sire Lion Hunter.

Any Suggestion, a Queensland bred product of a half-sister to Show a Heart, was New Zealand’s champion juvenile sire and leading first season sire for 2011-12. He was the third Queensland bred sire to gain the New Zealand juvenile title, the others being the Australian domiciled Show a Heart (stands at Glenlogan Park in Queensland) and General Nediym (deceased).

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