Plaintree's new Dad earns a cigar

By Brian Russell - 17 August 2005

LONHRO is not the only sire whose girl friends are delivering little black flashes in the early weeks of the 2005 breeding season. Another magnificent young black stallion is the awesomely bred Sunday Knight, the Arrowfield Stud bred and owned son of Sunday Silence and the Bletchingly Group1 winner Wrap Around who is coming up to his third season at enterprising Heather Belle Pascoe’s quality young Plaintree Farms Stud close by Toowoomba.

Sunday Knight and his peas-in-a-pod black offspring were appraised by a big appreciative crowd when Pascoe conducted an open day on the Stud last Sunday, August 14, but they had to share the limelight with the much talked about Danehill sprinter Conatus, one of the most exciting young sires in Queensland.

Standing at Plaintree Farms by arrangements with his owners including Baramul Stud owner and Magic Millions supremo Gerry Harvey, Conatus retired to the stud last season and was solidly supported.

Included in that initial book were 29 of the mares in Harvey’s top grade band including two which have produced two of the first three Conatus foals, fillies out of the Secret Savings mares Al Yaseerah (a grandaughter of the Sir Tristram Victoria Oaks and Thousand Guineas winner Tristanagh) and Samar (a half-sister to Queensland Derby and AJC Metropolitan Handicap winner County Tyrone).

The distinction of having the first Conatus foal, however, has fallen to well known property developer Terry McKinnon and his son Shaun. They have Mornajie Thoroughbreds at Beaudesert and are ecstatic at the arrival of the Conatus colt, one which had Terry McKinnon beaming at the Plaintree open day. He described it as being big and strong, having good legs and having Conatus stamped all over him.

To mark the occasion of the arrival of the first foal Heather Pascoe, the wife of leading veterinary surgeon David Pascoe, titillated the open day gathering when she presented expensive cigars to Conatus and his young stud groom Greg Pitman.

Matured into a very impressive young stallion, Conatus really turned heads when he strutted his stuff for the crowd. “Clients who had not seen him since the previous season were amazed to see how much he had let down and developed. He not only boasts a pedigree laced with Golden Slipper and Blue Diamond winners, but he has the energy and presence a sire of champion two-year-olds needs,” Heather Pascoe said.

Bathed in brilliant sunshine, Plaintree Farms, the home also the young sire Count Albrecht, a half-brother by Mr Prospector’s son Geiger Counter to Zabeel, looked a picture for the day and the guests were entertained to morning tea on the lawn amidst baskets overflowing with delphiniums, lilies and other spring flowers in the Plaintree racing colours of white, royal blue and orange.

They were later ushered to the stallion parade by a wandering jazz band.

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To many, the words love, hope and dreams are synonymous with horses.

—Oliver Wendall Holmes Sr