Rolston relishing International Sale role in Hong Kong

  • user
  • July 06, 2023
  • No Comments

Former long-serving New Zealand Bloodstock employee Danny Rolston is loving life with the Hong Kong Jockey Club.

He was appointed to the role of Executive Manager Hong Kong International Sale/Owner Advisory Services last year with his chief focus on overseeing the International Sale, with the latest successful edition held at Sha Tin last Friday.

“I love it here and it’s been a massive change as you could imagine, but it’s a really great place to live,” Rolston said.

“I arrived in the job a week before the Sale last year so effectively this was my second, but the first one I have been right through the full process.

“It feels like the first one I can genuinely take ownership of and I was really happy.”

Rolston was delighted with both the results and the interest in Friday’s auction.

“It’s a massive event and we had around 600 people turn up this year, which is significantly more than have historically attended the Sale and we are gaining good momentum,” he said.

Fifteen three-year-olds went through the ring with a son of Zoustar topping the Sale when he changed hands for $1.8 million while New Zealand-breds also proved popular.

A son of the late Tavistock, co-bred by Haunui Farm, was bought by Jason Cheung $1.25 million after he had been purchased by the Hong Kong Jockey Club out of Bhima Thoroughbreds’ draft at the Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale for A$220,000.

The gelding is out of the Elusive City mare Triaction and is a half-brother to the multiple winner and stakes performer Funny Girl.

Another son of Tavistock made $965,000 to the bid of Marces Lee after he was initially bought by the Hong Kong Jockey Club for A$400,000 at the Melbourne auction where the half-brother to English Listed winner Never Back Down was offered by Maluka Thoroughbreds.

Lee also bought a Cambridge Stud-bred son of Savabeel from the O’Reilly mare Lovetessa, who is from the Eight Carat family, for $923,00 after he was purchased at New Zealand Bloodstock’s National Yearling Sale for $720,000.

A Per Incanto gelding bred by JML Bloodstock completed the New Zealand line-up and he was knocked down to Cheung Kun Tong for $670,000.

A son of the Smart Missile mare Amanjena, he was bought out of Blandford Lodge’s draft at Karaka for $200,000.

“We’ve seen a great year with the graduates on the track. Owners are really respecting the processes we’ve put in place in that we’ve been not only very selective but the processes we put them through with their education but, more importantly, the assessment we’re putting on these horses,” Rolston said.

A promising New Zealand-bred graduate of the 2022 auction is Romantic Laos, winner of two of his seven starts from the stable of former Te Akau head trainer Jamie Richards.

“He’s quite an interesting horse by Pins and we think he’s got a lot of potential,” Rolston said.

Romantic Laos was sold by breeder Waikato Stud at Karaka for $210,000 and made $1 million at the International Sale.

Rolston began his thoroughbred journey as a jockey and rode 90 winners, including the 1996 Gr.3 Challenge Stakes (1600m) at Ellerslie aboard Sir James.

After retiring from the saddle, he spent time living in the United States and the Middle East and met his future wife Sharon while riding work at Santa Anita and they subsequently returned to New Zealand.

He worked for New Zealand Bloodstock for nearly two decades after initially joining the insurance arm of the operation before transferring to the bloodstock department and rose through the ranks to hold the role of Bloodstock Sales Manager before his latest challenge.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.