American bloodlines have proved a good branch of success in Australia for a number of years now, so it was unsurprising to see buyers from Down Under making their presence felt during the first session of the Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale in Lexington on Monday.

Kia Ora Stud has long been a believer in the introduction of Northern Hemisphere bloodlines to help diversify and bolster their broodmare band, and now with three exciting sires to support they once again returned to the scene of one of the best sale triumphs outside Australia.

At the sale in 2013, Kia Ora’s former Farm Manager, Alex Kingston, signed for dual Grade 2 winner Gypsy Robin (USA) (Daaher {USA}), paying US$750,000 (AU$1,164,000) for the mare.

She has proved a shrewd investment for the farm, having produced three winners, hitting the jackpot with her first foal, the G1 AJ Moir S. winner Wild Ruler, who is now standing at Newgate Farm. The mare was agonisingly denied her second elite winner when Pavitra (American Pharoah {USA}) was narrowly beaten into second in the G1 VRC Oaks last Thursday.


Wild Ruler

Wild Ruler


This year they snared for the Listed-winning juvenile mare Toby’s Heart (USA) (Jack Milton {USA}), paying US$450,000 (AU$695,600) for the mare, who hails from the family of Grade 3 winner Cat Attack (USA) (Storm Cat {USA}) and her two sons, fellow Grade 3 scorer Great Attack (USA) (Greatness {USA}) and stakes winner Pulgarcito (USA) (Greatness {USA}).

Successful results

Kia Ora’s Bloodstock and Breeding Manager, Shane Wright, who chatted to TDN AusNZ from Scone on Tuesday, said given the farm’s long history and success with sourcing mares from America and introducing them successfully into the Australian market, it made sense to return once again.

“Kia Ora has had huge success over the years sourcing mares in America and we are not afraid to look outside the traditional Australian bloodlines and I think a lot of other people have been doing it in recent years to good success as well,” he said.

“Gypsy Robin is obviously a highlight, the dam of Wild Ruler and this year Pavitra came second in the Oaks in her first preparation, so there is a lot more to come from her.

“We bought More Than Real in America and her first foal was Miss Debutant, who was a stakes winner and she is now the dam of Queen Of The Ball and Platinum Jubilee, so the lineage is definitely coming down through the generations and it is proving successful. It has been good to us in the past and we are definitely not afraid to look outside our own borders and go international.”

While he said the plans for Toby’s Heart had yet to be finalised, Wright said he wasn’t ruling anything out for the mare, including racing her in Australia.


Hip 204 - Toby's Heart (USA) was purchased for US$450,000 (AU$695,600) by Kia Ora Stud | Image courtesy of Keeneland

Hip 204 – Toby’s Heart (USA) was purchased for US$450,000 (AU$695,600) by Kia Ora Stud | Image courtesy of Keeneland


“We go through the catalogue and break it down into different criteria. They have to have been good on the track and 2-year-old speed is important as well. The two biggest ticks for us are speed and precocity and this mare had them both,” said Wright.

“Any of our three boys, Farnan, Prague or Capitvant, will suit her very well and that will be decided later in the year when she arrives in Australia and has let down.

“We always buy them sound as well, because then when they get here you always have the option to race them, but she has not been specifically bought for that reason, it is just nice to have that option there.”

Story courtesy of TDN AusNZ