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The "Rose" dynasty of Rosehill Farm continues

Queens Rose wins the $50,000 Listed Tauranga Classic 20/6/15
Queens Rose wins the $50,000 Listed Tauranga Classic 20/6/15

In 1924 a breeder in Te Awamutu acquired a filly by Wairiki from Miss Rose that he named Wee Rose, and therein started the "Rose" dynasty of Rosehill Farm, that is still producing Stakes winners some 90 years later.

That breeder Bill Alexander was the maternal uncle of one Joe Pollard, whose daughter Liz still runs Rosehill Farm and bred and raced its latest Stakes winner Queens Rose (O'Reilly – Rosetti Bay).

Queens Rose recently won the Listed Tauranga Classic for fillies and mares, and in doing so recorded her eighth win beating the consistent Stakes performer The Filly.

"That put to rest any doubt that people may have had about her ability, the best horse won on the day. I don't care what anyone says," enthused Liz Pollard a member of the Waikato branch of the NZTBA.

"Vinnie said she put herself in to the race and still had plenty left at the end. It was a brilliant ride but it wasn't a hard ride at all. There were big wraps on her before the race. It was a good result she deserved it and I am pleased for Richie (Graham Richardson Queen's Rose's trainer).

"I know it's hard when you are training for a breeder, as we always want to race for black type and it's hard to get conditions to suit, but we got them at Tauranga.

"I still think she is still on the way up. She looks better than she has ever looked, she was a little fragile as a three-year-old and Richie has nursed her along. She may be coming up six but she has only had 20 starts, and I think we will race her another season. She is definitely a spring and autumn horses as she is no good on top of the ground.

Pollard races the horse with fellow breeder Gloria Graydon, they have a 60% share and less the other 40% to family friends Jan and Paul Sutherland who have 10% each. Tony Sutherland has a 5% share along with his friend Richard O'Connor, clients of the Richardson Racing Stables Brian and Melody Priest have the remaining 10%.

Graydon and Pollard, bred Queens Rose from Rosetti Bay a mare they raced to win eight races including the Group Three Taranaki Breeders Stakes. They purchased her at the yearling sales from Liz's father Joe, who in fact took his first draft of yearlings to the National Sale at Trentham in 1943.

Since that time Rosehill Farm has bred a host of Stakes winners from the descendants of Wee Rose including the Group One equivalent winners Fearless Fox, Golden Galleon, Najimi, Rose Of Summer, Quite Able and Ziema, and in the 70's and 80's the dual Derby winner Haymaker (VRC Derby and WATC Australian Derby), Minuetto (10 wins including the STC Rawson Stakes), and Summer Hay (5 wins SAJC Derby Trial). Crown Queen a Stakes placed half-sister to those Stakes winners is the third dam of Queen's Rose.

Her daughter Crown Rose (Imposing [AUS]) was unraced, but produced five winners including Rosetti Bay, the Stakes placed Star of Crown and Keeper Crossing, a Keeper[AUS] mare that Pollard also breeds from. She is currently in foal to Alamosa.

Another branch of the family of Wee Rose's family produced the Stakes winner Summerosa (Oakville[GB])who Joe Pollard sold to Fred Bodle of Whakanui Stud, she won the Waikato Cup before leaving Summer Fleur (Sovereign Edition [IRE]) who won eight races including the Launceston Cup, and became the mother of the Melbourne Cup winner Empire Rose. Empire Rose's grandson Empire's Choice (Redoute's Choice[AUS]) is a Queensland Derby winner. Singapore Derby winner Lim's Prestige, and Stakes winners Regal Affair and Joe Hero also descend from this branch of the family and were Rosehill graduates.

Yet another branch of the Wee Rose family produced the great matriarch My Tricia, dam of Grosvenor, National Gallery, Kyrie Eleison, Garfunkel, My Marsellaise for Sir Patrick Hogan. More recently the champion sprinter Lankan Rupee is a descendant from this line.

Harking back to Rosetti Bay, the first foal Graydon and Pollard bred from her was by Darci Brahma and sold to Hong Kong for $220,000 as Holyangelholy and has won two races.

"Rosetti Bay was Gloria's first introduction to racing and she is our pride and joy. We have retained two of her fillies, Queens Rose and Diamond Rose (Danroad). They both won at Tauranga on the same day back in April, so she is doing the job at stud.

"Last summer Roger James bought her Mastercraftsman yearling filly out of the select sale, however the tragedy is that she slipped a filly foal to the now deceased O'Reilly, being a full sister to Queens Rose, just a few weeks ago, so it's not all roses. She does have a booking to Tavistock.

"We also raced Pacific Rose a Cape Cross(IRE) mare who won five races, she is in foal to Rock'n Pop. Along with Queen's Rose and Diamond Rose they are the only horses Gloria has raced or been involved with and they have won 23 races between them," added Pollard.

Pacific Rose descends from the same branch of the family as Empire Rose.

Pollard still runs the family farm in Te Awamutu and has done since Joe died in 2006, her mother Shirley died in June last year. As well as three mares she runs beef cattle.

"The horses kept her going, she loved them, she was however a very wise woman. In 1985 we came home from the Trentham sales with $320,000 from selling 5 yearlings which was a lot of money in those days. I said to Dad I think we should go to Sydney and buy a couple of nice mares, and my mother chimed in with I think we should go to Mount Maunganui and buy a beach front property. Fortunately Mum was the astute one and we did and we still have it thank goodness.

"Cutting back to three mares has made it a lot easier. These days you can't breed with a lot of confidence, it's a tough game to be in. I am in a position where we can retain fillies and race them, and with the results I am getting you can't put a price on that. You wouldn't want to end up with too many though.

"I still sell under the Rosehill Farm banner and sold two fillies at Karaka this year. My father started selling yearlings at Trentham in 1943, and although I haven't got any yearlings to sell this year we have pretty much had an uninterrupted run of selling since then, people know we are genuine sellers and they know we produce good stock so they can buy with confidence.

"I do study a lot of pedigrees but these days it's a lot of what you can afford to pay, there is no point over capitalising a mare. A mating has to be compatible, I know what I like in a horse and I know what buyers look for, so conformation and type are a big part as well as what's on the pedigree page. So I study all those factors and hope that you get a nice horse. If you get a nice horse it's easy to sell.

"I sold a half-brother to Joe Hero in the Select sale, a few years ago, I could have upgraded him to Premier but I felt he would be better suited to Select and he topped the sale at $140,000. If you have a nice horse the buyers will find you."

Pollard may not have any yearlings to sell this year, but she does have two nice race mares Queens Rose and Diamond Rose to keep her busy, and to keep the Rosehill Farm dynasty going for another good few years.

- Michelle Saba


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