A LATE change of race conditions and surface held no fears for Congrats filly Starship Cutie which posted her fourth career victory this morning at Calder Park and was the first leg of a double for her sire.

The son of A.P Indy had five North American runner’s yesterday resulting in two winner’s and three second placings at Calder Park, Prairee Meadows and River Down.

Starship Cutie was the first leg of a double for Congrats at Calder Park with For the Win saluting two races later over 1200m on another big day for Congrats.

Starship Cutie jumped well and held the rail behind leader Intense Alvera before kicking clear at the top of the straight and posting a convincing two and a quarter length victory over her six rivals.

Initially scheduled to be run on turf, the race was transferred to dirt which was of little concern to trainer Dubis Chaparro as three of the Starship Cutie’s four victories have been in races were a late switch of racing surface was involved.

Just as competitive on either surface, Starship Cutie is one of 103 individual winner’s for boom sire Congrats who is currently one of the hottest sire’s in North America.


THERE were two important developments in the burgeoning career of Vinery Stud sire Congrats emanating from the US last week that have positive ramifications for the young sire’s Australian fan base.

Off the track, global breeding empire Coolmore swooped on Congrat’s triple Grade 1 winning mare Turbulent Descent, purchasing her in a private deal for an undisclosed amount.

She will now do her future racing under the auspices of Hall Of Famer Todd Pletcher in New York.

Coincidentally, Pletcher himself has strong Vinery links given that he put the polish on the stud’s flagship sire More Than Ready and son, Pluck who joins the roster in 2012.

Turbulent Descent is a member of Congrats’ debut crop which heralded some 25 individual 2YO winners, four Grade One performers – two of them winners – and a string of black-type performers.

Consequently, the son of A.P Indy was crowned US Leading First Crop Sire in 2010.

The other piece of good news State-side was the Congrats’ took his overall tally of stakeshorses to 18 when Emma’s Encore scored a comfortable win the the Grade 3 Victory Ride Stakes at Belmont Park in NY last weekend.

The Kentucky bred miss was well off the speed early before a sweeping move saw her rush past her rivals, including the 1-5 fav Agave Kiss who suffered her first defeated in seven starts.

“She broke really good, really sharp and got herself comfortable,” winning jockey Junior Alvarado said.

“By the five-sixteenths pole, she started to pick it up and I said to myself, Wow, they’re going to have to be running today for her to get beat because she picked it up right away and gave me a nice, good kick.”

Emma’s Encore is now likely to be considered for the Grade 1 Prioress Stakes at Saratoga on August 4 and followed by the Test Stakes taken out last year by Turbulent Descent.

“Naturally we are very pleased with the way Congrats’ has gone on since he was champion first season sire,” Vinery’s Conor Phelan,”he recently sired his 100th individual winner and now has 22 black-type horses, nine of those are stakeswinners.

“And the sale of Turbulent Descent shows that the breed are highly commercial no matter what stage of life they are at, we have seen his weanlings, yearling, two-year-olds be very popular at sales across America and now one of his tried horses have been purchased for what I suspect was  a very large sum,” Phelan added.

“The buzz on the stallion and his proven sire qualities will give him some real impetuous when his weanlings and yearling get to the sale ring.”

Congrats served 150 mares in his introductory year at Vinery Stud in 2010.

His first Vinery conceived foals are due to arrive at the beginning of next month.