VINERY Stud sire Congrats could become the first stallion in history to be crowned Champion First Season Sire in both the United States and Australia.
The son of A. P. Indy is in the unusual position of being regarded as a First Season Sire in Australia despite having taken out Freshman Sire honours in North America in 2010.
Only last week, Congrats’ raised his tally of individual stakeswinners to 14 when Florida-bred filly Toasting won the Dream Rush Stales over 1400m at Belmont Park in New York.
Toasting had previously been placed in the Grade 1 Frizette Stakes and Grade 2 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes.
She also ran fourth in the Grade 1 Mother Goose Stakes.
Congrats has so far sired a total of 31 stakes-performers including three Grade 1 winners led by four-time Grade 1 winner Turbulent Descent.
His 152 winners have come from a pool of 221 starters giving him a phenomenally high winners-to-runners strike rate of 69 percent.
Inglis Director and auctioneer Jonathan D’Arcy feels sure that Congrats’ epic feats will not be lost on local buyers when his first Australian crop steps into sales rings around the nation from January.
“We’re getting more and more educated to the success of some of these international stallions through the internet, particularly with the updates that most people receive daily,” he said.
“A lot of trainers will be aware that Congrats is a proven sire over there.”
D’Arcy and his crew at Inglis have seen a number of Congrats’ offspring that will feature at Newmarket or Oaklands Junction sometime in 2014.
“Looking at the types that we’ve seen, he has got some nice horses coming to (our) sales.,” D’Arcy says.
“They are good, strong individuals, good boned horses that look like they will suit Australian conditions and with the success of horses like More Than Ready and Bernardini in Australian conditions, horses that succeeded in America deserve their chance in this part of the world.”
Congrats’ winners – like Vinery’s 2005/6 Champion First Season Sire, More Than Ready are prone to perform on any given surface.
“He’s certainly had success on turf but more importantly, they look like the sort of horses that our trainers are going to like the look of,” D’Arcy commented.
“Sometimes you get those European stallions that can throw them light-framed and light boned, (but) most of the Congrats we’ve seen have got plenty of bone and substance and we think he’ll be pretty well received at the yearling sales.”