Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott have unearthed a talented two-year-old colt at Kensington on Wednesday.
The regally bred In The Congo was impressive on debut, leading from start to finish and fending off his rivals to score by 0.57 lengths in the Heineken Handicap (1100m).
The flashy colt is a son of the champion sire Snitzel and is out of Via Africa, a multiple Group-1 winning mare in South Africa.
Co-trainer Adrian Bott was very happy with his colt’s performance.”(It’s) really nice to see him do that, a deserving win for him,” he said.
“(He) had to do plenty of work early, things didn’t necessarily go to plan for him he had to do a bit to cross and then kicked pretty clear in the straight after doing that.
“He’s done a lot of work; he’s coping very well. He’s a nice, tough colt for us going forward.”
In The Congo was a $350,000 Inglis Easter Yearling purchase by China Horse Club and Newgate Bloodstock.
The flashy colt jumped well but had to be ridden along early by Clark to settle at the front of the pack. He then kicked strongly at the top of the straight and kept his competitors at bay.
In The Congo is nominated for feature races during the Queensland winter carnival, but whether Waterhouse and Bott send the two-year-old north is yet to be determined.
“He has a few nominations for the features in Queensland,” Bott said.
“Whether we look to going deep into the campaign there or look to give him a freshen up now and look to the spring or whether he needs another race to season him a little bit more for those tough races in the spring.
“We’ll let the dust settle today before having a chat with Henry and making a few decisions.”
It was Tim Clark ‘s only winner of the card, finishing with a winner and a placing on the day. Although he was happy with the performance, Clark said the two-year-old has more ability than he put on display.
“He’s a really nice colt,” Clark said. “They’ve done a really good job with him, because he was sort of wanting to overdo it there last time and even early on in this campaign.
“But they’ve worked on him a lot and he’s really relaxed now and he’s going about things the right way.
“I just feel that, although he won today and I’m very impressed with him, he’s shown things at home far greater than what he’s done there today. I think when he does put it all together and gets it right, he’s got better wins in store.
“He’ll take benefit from today’s experience; he’s had a nice day out and hopefully he can continue on with it.”
The Waterhouse and Bott team narrowly missed out on a double for the day, with Easy Campese fighting off Too Much Caviar in the Benchmark 68 Tab Handicap (1550m).
The John Sargent-trained gelding gave apprentice Ellen Hennessy her first metropolitan winner.