Smart Winner for Conatus

Brian Russell - Bloodstock Media Service - 4 February 2009

BLACK TYPE could be within the scope of Gag Order, a first crop 3-year-old filly by Conatus, a son of Danehill and Light Up The World, a high class Rory’s Jester filly from a grandaughter of the famous matriarch Denise’s Joy.

Gag Order has competed four times so far, all in the December – January, and made it three it dashing wins in succession when she scored by 1.3 lengths in a 1200m event at Doomben on Saturday.

In the right hands to get a crack at higher level racing, the Liam Birchley trained Gag Order prior to Saturday had followed up a debut second at Toowoomba with wins at the Gold Coast (by 4.8 lengths) and the Sunshine Coast (1.8 lengths).

Bred by Mrs B.L. Jones and Mr S Jones and another sale bargain, selling as a weanling at the Gold Coast for $10,000, Gag Order is from Suppress, a Don’t Say Halo mare whose great grandam Andiamo was a half-sister to champion English racehorse and Australian sire Showdown.

Gag Order was one of a trifecta of winners spread over four days in the past week by Conatus, a resident on behalf of his owners, a Gerry Harvey Baramul Stud headed syndicate, at Heather and David Pascoe’s Plaintree Farms stud at Cecil Plains,Toowoomba.

She was preceded on the Friday by the 3-year-old filly Pocket Battleship, a winner by 3.8 lengths at Armidale, and followed on Monday by a comfortable debut victory by the gelded 2-year-old Wild And Free. He is one of a number of horses trained at Tamworth by Paul St Vincent for Gerry Harvey.

A good supporter of Conatus, a horse which he bred, Harvey also has some of his progeny with trainers in Sydney. They include Punjab, a winner at Wyong, and Demetria, second at Randwick,

Two other Conatus first crop 3-year-olds are Tuscon Rain (won by 1.8 lengths at the Gold Coast and second Doomben) and Jeffery Joe (won by a length in mid January at Cessnock at his fourth start).

Conatus, 2008 fee $3,300, is one of two sire descendants of Denise’s Joy who has had winners in recent weeks, the other being the Windsor Park, Cambridge, New Zealand based Thorn Park. His oldest progeny are also three and include three stakes winners and three others stakes placed.

A former leading Australian sprinter,Thorn Park is by the Nureyev world class miler Spinning World and from Joy, a half-sister by Bluebird to the dam of Conatus.

Among the ever increasing list of good winners descending from Denise’s Joy are Sunday Joy, Tuesday Joy, Bentley Biscuit, Arlington Road, Primus (Chatswood Stud, Avenel, Victoria), Pentastic, Euphoria and Christmas Tree.

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A lovely horse is an emotional experience of the kind that is spoiled by words.

—Beryl Markham