Speed Thrills

11 July 2005

Sometimes it takes a while to see the obvious.

Such is the case with the sire-sons of Danehill, who now seem so numerous they now seem to be standing on every street corner.

If you take a close look at the figures, however, it seems that the single magic ingredient to really making it as a successful sire son of Danehill is speed. Take a look at the likes of the leading sons of Danehill on the General Sires List and you will see the likes of Redoutes’s Choice, Danzero, Danewin and Lion Hunter. You will begin to see a pattern emerge: they all showed tremendous speed, and they all carry successful Australian bloodlines in their immediate female families.

It’s a positive sign indeed for the stud career of Plaintree Farms sire Conatus. Not only does he carry the greatest sources of speed and precocity in Australian for the last fifty years – Danehill, Rory’s Jester, Bletchingly and Star Kingdom – but he also showed scintillating speed in his own racetrack performances where he had four wins (including a class record.) “He was a speed horse with tremendous ability,” said his trainer John Hawkes.

If this isn’t enough, Conatus also carries three of Australia’s greatest speed sires in his first three dams: Rory’s Jester, Bletchingly and Showdown: every stallion has been both Champion Australian Sire and also champion broodmare sire.

Conatus is a member of the extraordinary Denise’s Joy family, widely considered one of the greatest G1 producing families in Australia. The family has recently produced its latest sprinting sensation in Bentley Biscuit, who gave three impressive exhibitions of bold front-running speed in his recent wins. He has now been sent out to spell prior to being prepared for the Spring Carnival.

Bentley Biscuit (Peintre Celebre) comes from a family where speed runs in the blood. He is a son of Tycoon Joy (Last Tycoon) who is a daughter of the wonderful producer Christmas Spirit. This makes Tycoon Joy a half sister to Light Up The World (Rory’s Jester) – who is the dam of Conatus – and also a half sister to Joy (Bluebird) the dam of champion sprinter Thorn Park, now standing at stud in NZ.

With such a formidable family – and such a combination of speed – it would seem that Conatus is certainly shaping up as one of the most exciting young speed sons of Danehill at stud.

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A canter is a cure for every evil.

—Benjamin Disraeli