In The Congo was in the zone, setting a frenetic race-record tempo and daring his rivals to run him down.
It was a simple, bold but effective race plan that provided In The Congo with an exciting win in the Group 1 $1 million Golden Rose (1400m) at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.
This was a stunning display of sustained speed and the third leg of a stakes race treble for trainers Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott, and their stable jockey Tim Clark as racing returned to Rosehill after a two-month Covid-enforced break.
In The Congo, in his first race preparation and just his sixth career start, took just 1m 21.46s to become a Group 1 winner and suddenly earn a $20 million price tag – not that he is for sale.
Newgate Farm’s Henry Field has acquired an outstanding stallion prospect with In The Congo but the colt has plenty of racing left.
“We wanted to use In The Congo’s high cruising speed and make them feel the pressure chasing him,’’ Bott said.
“He has the ability to sustain a gallop, he just keeps going, and we wanted to make it a real test for the others, take away some of their brilliance and play to his assets, his toughness.
“This colt wears his heart on his sleeve every time he races and he deserved that win.’’
In The Congo gave Waterhouse one of the few Sydney Group 1 races to elude her after three previous second placings in the Golden Rose.
“In The Congo’s greatest asset is his speed and that has won him the race,’’ said Waterhouse who watched from home.
“People underestimate the front-running horse and this colt is as tough as teak – we out-manoeuvred them.’’
The Waterhouse-Bott stable dominated the Rosehill meeting with In The Congo’s win coming after successes with Vangelic in the Group 2 Golden Pendant and Entente in the Group 3 Colin Stephen Quality – all brilliantly ridden by Clark.
“We are on fire!” Waterhouse said. “Our horses are fit and it’s a credit to Adrian.’’
In The Congo, a son of super sire Snitzel, began his race career in late April and has been in full training virtually ever since but he keeps improving with every start.
“He looked as good today as he has looked all prep, he is obviously thriving and all the team who look after him at Tulloch Lodge have done a wonderful job,’’ Clark said.
“I really enjoy working with Gai and Adrian, we’ve built up a strong partnership, it’s a real honour to be riding for the stable and days like today are very special.’’
**Via Africa is a multiple Gr1 winning Var mare, trained by Duncan Howells in South Africa and bred and owned by Andre Hauptfleisch with A J Boschoff. Her dam Bump ‘n Grind (Qui Danzig) has produced 9 winners to date, as well as the Black Type Elusiveenchantment. Via Africa is also the dam of 2-time winner in Hong Kong, Pleasant Endeavour by Redoute’s Choice – Editor
-Ray Thomas / racenet.com.au
Feature image: In The Congo won the Golden Rose. Photo: Mark Evans/Getty Images