The “Joy Boys” raise the flag of a new sire dynasty

11 February 2011

With the progeny of Conatus now knocking on the door for their first black-type wins, Conatus’ ‘first cousin” Thorn Park has rocketed to the top of the charts as the Leading Sire in New Zealand. He is also chalking up stakes winners in Australia as well.

Along with Conatus, Thorn Park is the only living sire from the extraordinary Denise’s Joy family – the biggest Group One producing family in Australia.

A striking chestnut horse, Thorn Park was an unbeaten Australian 2YO with explosive acceleration who trained on to be one of Australia’s leading sprinters highlighted by his Group 1 Stradbroke victory in 2004.

Retired to stud with 9 wins up to 1400m – including 6 stakes wins and just over $1.5M in earnings, Thorn Park stands at Nelson Schick’s Windsor Park Stud at Cambridge.

The two young sires, Conatus and Thorn Park, both share the same grand dam – the illustrious black –type producer Christmas Spirit (Bletchingly).

While Thorn Park is a son of Christmas Spirits’ daughter, Joy – who is an unraced daughter of Bluebird – Conatus is a son of her half sister, Light Up The World (Rorys Jester) who was a winner of two G2 races, one G3 race and a Listed race.

The good filly Presenting (Redoute’s Choice) – winner of the Listed Morphettville Guineas in 2005 – is another daughter of Christmas Spirit as well.

Christmas Spirit is from Joy and Fun (Showdown) – who also produced the stakes winners Christmas Tree, Euphoria and Jewel in the Crown. Joy and Fun is a daughter of the great matriarch, Denise’s Joy herself.

Thorn Park’s son, the David Payne trained Centennial Park, delivered an exciting win over much favoured rivals by winning the G2 Expressway Stakes over 1200m – the first of a Group double for Thorn Park last weekend.

This is the seventh win for Centennial Park who has amassed over $600K worth of earnings to date.

Across the Tasman, 3YO colt – Jimmy Choux (out of the Centaine mare, Cierzo), trained by John Bary at Hastings, delivered the second half of the Thorn Park Group double last weekend by winning the G3 Waikato Guineas over 2000m at Te Rapa – making this his fourth consecutive win this preparation.

Jimmy Choux has won the G1 NZ 2000 Guineas, G2 Hawkes Bay Guineas and G2 Great Northern Guineas and handled his first go at 2000m easily, going clear to score by two and a quarter lengths over Fastnet Rock youngster – Yin Yang Master.

I was always confident he would win. He relaxes so beautifully and was travelling sweet all the way.” Trainer John Bary said. Jimmy Choux is now being set for the NZ Derby over 2400m.

The future is certainly looking good for the two ‘Joy Boys’ – Conatus and Thorn Park – and it looks like they will create their own new sire dynasties and do their family proud.

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

—Beryl Markham