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Rolston in search of imported blood

New Zealand Bloodstock's Danny Rolston will spend the next week helping local breeders in a long-term plan to produce the next Trust In A Gust, Foxwedge or Anabandana.

All three of those Australasian Group One winners are out of United States-bred mares, and all were bought at the Keeneland November Sale, where Rolston is headed.

The sale is a mixed bloodstock sale, and it's an especially good place to find high-quality mares.

This year will be the third in which Rolston has gone over, as part of a partnership between New Zealand Bloodstock and the Keeneland sales agency.

"Predominantly the idea is to facilitate some investment from New Zealand breeders into some international bloodlines," he said.

"It came about as a bit of a joint venture with Keeneland. They were in New Zealand and asked us how we thought we could generate some interest and we came up with the idea of going up there."

Rolston has spoken to a number of New Zealand breeders, and has trawled through the first three books of the sale to put together a short list of young mares he believes will suit the Southern Hemisphere market.

Upon arrival at Keeneland he will cast his eye over the mares on the short list to see how they shape up physically, before deciding which mares to bid on after consultation with New Zealand clients.

"We mainly look for mares off the track, or mares with their first foal inside, or if there's an obvious Australasian-relevant pedigree."

He then has the task of trying to outbid the rest of the world – not an easy task, but one where the rewards are potentially very high.

"The Keeneland sale's not American pedigrees only, either. You can tap into many of the European and South American bloodlines as well."

New Zealand Bloodstock is offering breeders a package including finance, insurance and airfreight for any mares they do buy.

"I'll have notes on a broad-range of mares and welcome enquiries from anyone wanting to find out more," Rolston said.

Rolston will also watch a weanling foal go before buyers at Keeneland that's out of a mare that he bought in foal for a New Zealand client last year.

"It means we've got an opportunity for a quick return for the owner, which is great," he said.

The mare has since travelled to New Zealand and is in foal to Southern Hemisphere time.

Rolston says the venture isn't just about getting US mares to New Zealand.

"It's also about generating some interest in investment the other way in our sales at Karaka," he said. "The weanling sale in May this year was the first in a number of years where we had an American buyer."

Rolston will also attend a meeting of SITA, the Society of International Thoroughbred Auctioneers, which is held at various venues around the world. – NZ Racing Desk