THE praise for the debut progeny of reigning USA Champion First Season Sire Congrats continue with the “Class of 2008” now numbering 54 winners from 86 starters (63%) thanks to his recent winners on turf.
His Leading First Season sire crown aside, Congrats has instantly proven himself to be one of the most prolific young sires on the national roster and importantly, for his potential to deliver the same in Australia, his stock are as adept on turf as they are the dirt.
A fact which is crucial says Vinery Stud’s Adam White.
“We saw very early in More Than Ready’s career that his progeny were just as capable on turf or dirt.”
“More Than Ready has shown he is a prolific sire of Stakes winners, his tally is 87 at the moment and much of this is due to the fact that his progeny run as well on rain affected tracks as fast ones and are not limited to one surface or another,” he says.
“So in light of that, we are of course delighted to see that the Congrats stock displaying the same sort of adaptability at the corresponding stage of their respective careers.”
So does this mean that Vinery is forecasting a Champion First Season Sire title in Australia emulating what More Than Ready did in 20005/6?
“I don’t see why he couldn’t,” says White, “his stock seem remarkably sound and get to the track early.
Around 70% of his first crop of 114 foals made it to the track as 2yo’s and did so in winning fashion. More important than that was his four Grade One performers, 2 of those Grade One winners that have gone on as three-year-olds.
“We know that Congrats can sire early horses, we know they can run and win on any surface including turf, so there’s no reason at all that he won’t reproduce his results down here.”
Another positive for Congrats is that buyers at future yearling sales won’t have to be introduced to an unfamiliar horse.
“It’s never easy to get a stallion off the ground that isn’t well known to trainers especially,” says White, “but trainers in particular will like Congrats stock”
“You can imagine the buzz that would be around them as yearlings given that he is the Champion Freshman Sire in the USA in what is definitely one of the most competitive market in terms of Stallion numbers and the quality that he was up against.
“So add a couple more years to his record and who knows where he could be by the time his first yearlings go to the sales.
“Being a proven stallion takes away the risk associated with acquiring or breeding to a first season sire,” according to White, “The market is very global now, buyers understand and appreciate overseas success, particularly in the States, and especially on turf – they demand turf winners, that’s fair enough too – Congrats is a stallion every Stud would like to have at the moment.”
Speaking of turf, White points to Congrats’ associate sire Big Brown whose first foals are due in the ensuing weeks.
“Everyone will remember Big Brown for his incredible win the Kentucky Derby but they should also remember that he won his one and only start as a two-year-old on turf by 11-lengths.”