Blood Brotha another White Robe success
Blood Brotha added to a remarkable association between White Robe Lodge Stud, North Taieri and the Connors family, of Wanganui when he won the Wellington Cup on Saturday.
Blood Brotha, winner of the New Zealand Cup in 2011 and 2012 for trainer Raymond Connors, who races the Danzighill - Laura Dee 7-year-old gelding with his father, Mark, is from the same family as Hypnotize and Our Jonty, major winners for the Connors family and both bred at White Robe Lodge operated by Brian and Lorraine Anderton and family. Laura Dee is being bred from by Brian and Lorraine, Hec (brother of Brian)and his wife, Pat.
Hypnotize won the Great Northern Steeplechase - Pakuranga Hunt Cup double in 2007, 08 and 2010. Our Jonty, trained by Kevin Myers was ridden by Raymond, won the Great Northern Steeplechase in 1998. The three horses trace to Princess Mellay, winner of the NZ Cup in 1970-71 and first horse to win the race in successive years. She was trained by Hector Anderton, father of Brian and Hec and raced by their mother, Alice. Hector began breeding from this family with Pink Robe in 1948. She was the great granddam of Princess Mellay.
Hector trained Pink Robe (by Pink Coat) to win the 1938 Geraldine Cup and rode her to win over hurdles.
King Jonny, a half-brother to Our Jonty, won the 2005 Manawatu Classic for the Connors family before he died of a heart attack the following season.
Blood Brotha is the fourth of eight foals from Laura Dee, a Personal Escort mare who showed speed in training but did not race after an injury. She did not foal this season and has been served by Raise The Flag.
Blood Brotha was passed in for $14,000 when offered as a 2-year-old at the 2007 South Island sale. The reserve was $15,000. He was recommended to Mark and Raymond Connors by White Robe on the basis that Laura Dee was a half sister by Personal Escort to Our Jonty (by Random Chance).
Danzighill (by Danehill), the sire of Blood Brotha, has received little patronage at White Robe in recent years.
The Connors, dairy farmers, have a 3-year-old half brother by Gallant Guru to Blood Brotha. They recently bought the Bulls racecourse which has operated as Roselea Racing Stables under Stewart Mitchell since 1989. He bought the course from the Rangitikei Racing Club in 1999. The club shifted its racing permit to Awapuni in 1969. The property over 34.4 hectares, including four tracks, was advertised for $1.1 million.
White Robe has a colt by Raise The Flag from the family of Blood Brotha entered for festival session of the national sale at Karaka next week. He is the third foal of Living Doll, a winning mare by Personal Escort from Dunedin Cup winner, De Montfort, a half sister by Random Chance to Laura Dee.
''The win of Blood Brotha couldn't have come at a better time for us,'' Wayne Stewart, the stud manager said. He arrived in Auckland with five yearlings on Sunday.
Personal Escort is emerging as a sire of broodmares. The son of Mr Prospector was sold to England to sire recreation horses after standing at White Robe.