Calm before the storm for Congrats

Vinery shuttler Congrats (USA) has enjoyed a phenomenal start to his stud career in North America and now it’s the turn of his first southern two year-olds to take Australia by storm.

Congrats (A P Indy) had 107 foals from his first book in the Hunter Valley and many of them will be up and winning in the first-half of the season for stables like Team Hawkes, David Hayes, Gai Waterhouse, Mick Price, Aquanita Racing, and David Payne.

His first-crop yearlings were also purchased by trainers based in Adelaide, Perth, Brisbane, New Zealand and South Africa.

Congrats continues to be very popular with owners and trainers in the USA since being crowned Champion USA Freshman Sire when he defeated Bernardini and War Front.  His strike-rate has remained at almost freakish levels since then with 75% winners-to-runners.

That first crop included 114 live foals of which 91 have raced for a phenomenal 81 winners (89%).  There were 9 stakes winners including 2 Group 1 winners.

His second-crop produced 46 winners from 56 runners (82%) and another Group 1 winner.

Perhaps the greatest indication of Congrats ability to upgrade mares is seen in his third crop.  Following a relocation due to the closure of the stud at which he was standing, Congrats only covered 31 mares producing 29 live foals.

Despite the drop in numbers, the quality of his foals remained remarkably high.  Every one of the 29 foals have raced producing 23 winners so far (79%) including 2 stakes winners and another 3 Stakes placed.

In his fourth season Congrats moved to Vinery in Florida and there have been 40 winners from 67 runners (59%) including 3 stakes winners.

His first crop of Kentucky bred 2YOs includes 10 individual winners to date, 3 stakes performers and already over a half-million dollars in prizemoney.

Those statistics have resulted in another successful Keeneland September Sale for Congrats.  Four of his yearlings have made $250,000 or more during Books 1 and 2 and, overall, 10 of them have topped $100,000.

With almost 15% stakes horses to runners from a chequered start, it is not hard to see why Congrats is in such high demand.  He covered 3 fully books in his first three seasons at Vinery and his first two year-olds are shaping up nicely this season.

”We did our homework with Congrats,” Vinery general manager Peter Orton said. “And we are extremely confident he will be just as successful in Australia.”

Sportingbet quoted Congrats at $6 in its first market for the Australian first-season winners premiership last month. That could be over the odds come Christmas.

Vinery will stand Congrats for a $22,000 (inc gst) fee this year.