VINERY Stud 2011 recruit Congrats quickly passed another milestone last week when the son of A.P Indy notched his 50th individual winner from a total of only 88 starters.
Congrats’ oldest progeny foaled in the United State s are mid-way through their three-year-old season and as a group, have continued to deliver on the promise that many of them showed as juveniles.
So good were they are two-year-olds that Congrats was awarded Champion First Season honours in the USA last year with 25 individual winners including four Grade One performers, two of those – Turbulent Descent and Wickedly Perfect – were Grade One winners.
One man ideally placed to comment on Congrats sudden rise to fame is Australia’s most successful international bloodstock agent, Neil Bowden, who actually bought the dam of Eclipse Award contender, Turbulent Descent, for an American client.
”It has to be said that Congrats has been a revelation with his first American two-year-old crop last year,” says Bowden.
”He was a very well-bred horse from a Blue Hen tail female family, but he could not be described as brilliant and one would have logically expected his progeny to need time, given his best performance was a Grade Two win as five-year-old and his optimum distance seemed to be 8.5-9 furlongs.
”Having said all that, the progeny of Congrats have broken the mould and shown a lot of speed and genuine quality.”
Congrats is due to arrive in Australia from Kentucky in time to service what is shaping as an outstanding book of mares, says Vinery Stud’s Peter Orton.
Apart from being a son of the great A.P Indy, twice Champion USA General Sire (2003/2006), Congrats is part of the most influential female family of the twentieth century.
”Congrats is from the La Troienne line which we have done well out of with More Than Ready. It is a really well-balanced pedigree and we think it should work quite well down here,” said Vinery Stud general manager Peter Orton.
”He is essentially an outcross,” Orton noted, ”and that has been our modus operandi in the past when choosing to stand a stallion. Vinery has always looked for an outcross and this one has been very successful already.
Pedigree and race performance aside, Orton stressed the underlying motive for adding Congrats to their line-up was his record.
”Proven stallions like Congrats reduce the amount of uncertainty that you get with unproven horses – and he is a particularly good looking horse and has obviously stamped that in his stock as a sire and upgraded his mares significantly.”
HOOFNOTE: Congrats wasted no time increasing his tally, with his 51st winner coming immediately after he posted the half century with Countess Albie saluting at Calder Race Course.