Congrats Colt Aiming High
Mark Smith - Saturday, 7 January 2017

While punters rued the defeat of odd-on favourite Single Bullet in the Happy 2017 2YO Handicap (1200m) at Warwick Farm, the win of Colesberg came as no great surprise to trainer David Payne who has high expectations for the Congrats (USA) gelding.

Making his career debut, Colesberg was eased back to near the rear of the 6-horse field by Blake Shinn before being eased to the centre of the track to overpower  Single Bullet by three-quarters of a length. (photo Steve Hart). 


"He's going to be a nice Champagne (Stakes) horse," Payne said.

"He's always had the ability which he showed in his trial the other day. I said to (part-owner) Wilf (Mula) that we have got to run him at 12 or plus. Then rain came and I think that made the difference.

"He's a lovely horse and I think there's improvement in him on this run. We'll see where we go now We might give him a little spell, a couple of weeks out, and we will bring him back.

He's a young horse and if you start chasing money you can ruin them. We'll see how he pulls up and look for something later." 


Winning jockey Blake Shinn endorsed the trainer's comment that  Colesberg will be better suited as the distances increase.

"He'll be better over 1400 or 1600 metres," Shinn said.

"He was very strong to the line, really attacked the line with gusto and handled the ground well."

Purchased for $130,000 by his trainer out of the Vinery Stud draft at the 2016 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling sale, Colesberg (pictured above as a yearling) continues the great run of success enjoyed by Wilf Mula's Aston Bloodstock and Luskin Park's Paul Whelan and partners.  

The son of Congrats (USA) is the third foal of the twice stakes-placed Catbird mare Purrpurrlena who could not have had a better start to her broodmare career. 

Her first foal, the More Than Ready (USA) filly Entisaar, was purchased by Shadwell Stud for $300,000 at the 2104 Inglis Easter Yearling sale.

She was sent to South Africa to join the stable of Mike de Kock for whom she won three races at two highlighted by the Group I Scottsville Allan Robertson Championship.

The second foal of Purrpurrlena is the 3yo More Than Ready (USA) filly Purrari who has won two of her five starts including a pair at Canterbury.

Purrpurrlena missed to All Too Hard in 2014 and More Than Ready (USA) in 2015 and was covered by the Southern Halo stallion again last spring. 

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