Plaintree purrs over Bentley's awesome power

By Brian Russell - 28 July 2005

The awesome performances by Bentley Biscuit, a three-year-old colt in the Gai Waterhouse stables who was unbeaten in his recent three outings, taking all of them with consummate ease, suggests that he may be a budding Seabiscuit, albeit one from far less humble origins than the historic American galloper.

It also has Queensland horsewoman Heather Belle Pascoe purring as she has a close relation in the Danehill stallion Conatus to this Davilora Lodge,Victoria, bred son of the former Coolmore shuttle sire Peintre Celebre and the Last Tycoon mare Tycoon Joy who suggested he may have had similar horse power by winning his first two starts in eye-catching fashion at her exciting young Queensland breeding operation Plaintree Farms near Toowoomba.

The Joy portion of the name of Bentley Biscuit’s dam flows from one of the most outstanding sources of quality in Australia, her third dam Denise’s Joy, a queen of the turf in the mid 1970s who is also ancetress of Conatus.

They are but two of a long list of gallopers who appear to have benefited from the depth of excellence in the genes that saw Denise’s Joy herself star from 1000 to 2500 metres, in the process winning13 races including the VRC Oaks, MRC Underwood Stakes, QTC Queensland Oaks, WATC Australian Derby and MVRC Moonee Valley Stakes.

In addition she was runner up in the AJC Champagne Stakes, STC Golden Slipper, Silver Slipper, QTC Queensland Derby and MRC Sandown Guineas.

Bentley Biscuit’s dam is a half-sister to the dashing Rory’s Jester filly Light Up The World, producer to Danehill of Blue Diamond Preview winner and Blue Diamond Stakes third World Peace and of her smart brother Conatus, the Plaintree Farms sire mentioned.

Retired to stud last year by arrangements with his owners including Gerry Harvey, the leviathan broodmare owner who has the historic Baramul Stud in the Widden Valley, Conatus only ran 13 times but showed he had the superior speed that has enabled Danehill to provide five Golden Slipper winners by winning four sprint races including one at Warwick Farm over 1000 metres by margins of 1.75 lengths and 2.25 lengths and in 0:57.48 and another at Randwick at 1100 metres.

The latter win was on debut and saw the John Hawkes trained son of Danehill go out a short priced favourite and live up to it by rocketing home 3.25 lengths in front of his nearest rival and setting new class record time. It was an effort that was followed three weeks later by a cruising 1.5 lengths win in an 1100 metre event on the Gosford Slipper program.

Another indication of his fleetness of foot was a win in a 1400 metre event on the Newcastle Cup program by four lengths and in class record time.

The dams of Conatus, World Peace and Bentley Biscuit were also half-sisters to Joy, the producer of another fast, quality performer in Thorn Park, winner of nine races including the QTC Stradbroke Handicap, the Doomben BTC Cup, AJC Hobartville Stakes, STC Phar Lap Stakes and Premiere Stakes.

They are from Christmas Spirit, a three-quarter sister by record setting sprinter and champion Australian sire Bletchingly to Christmas Tree (six sprint wins including the STC Pago Pago Stakes and sire of stakes winners) and a close relation to the Denise’s Joy descendants Euphoria (AJC Champagne Stakes), So Gorgeous (VRC Ascot Vale Stakes, Edward Manifold Stakes), Miss Danehill (Queensland Oaks), Joie Denise (Queensland Oaks), Joie de Grise (a leading South African sprinter), Arlington Road (AJC All-Aged Stakes, STC Phar Lap Stakes) and Sunday Joy (AJC Oaks).

Sunday Joy is one of a handful of Australian bred progeny by the giant of Japanese breeding Sunday Silence. Another is the eye-catching near black Sunday Knight, one of three sires available at Plaintree Farms, sharing the new complex with Conatus and also Count Albrecht, a half-brother by the prominent Mr Prospector sire to Zabeel.

Sunday Knight (2005 fee $4400) and Count Albrecht (fee $2750) were the foundation sires at this stud in 2003 and Conatus (a big value Danehill at $3300) had a solid first book last season.

It was one in which he looked after 83 mares including a contingent from Baramul Stud. It was a book which should assure him of good early opportunity at the races with the mares including daughters of 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.

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Of all animals kept for the recreation of mankind,
the horse is alone capable of exciting a passion that shall be absolutely hopeless.

—Bret Harte