Even in the cut-throat world of commercial thoroughbred breeding, there is still business being done based on old connections.

North Taieri breeding and training operation White Robe Lodge has five yearlings by its stallion Raise The Flag consigned for the Festival Sale at Karaka today.

Raise The Flag is owned by Juddmonte Farms, the equine project of Prince Khalid Abdullah of Saudi Arabia.

So how does the impeccably bred son of Sadler's Wells end up in the South Island of New Zealand?


White Robe Lodge stud manager Wayne Stewart takes up the story.

"Ric Wylie rang me and asked if we would be interested in standing him," Stewart said.

"As soon as he mentioned his pedigree, our ears pricked up and we thought it would be a great chance to stand a horse like that."

The connection comes from Juddmonte's racing manager, Lord Teddy Grimthorpe, who is familiar with White Robe Lodge and Brian Anderton. "He worked for [Sydney trainer] Tommy Smith many years ago when Alibi and some of the good Noble Bijous that Brian sold were there," he said.

"He knew of us, and knew we don't just raise great horses, we train them and race them so you get the whole package.

"They're just good, athletic, clean-boned and correct horses with good temperaments," Stewart said.

"We've had them all x-rayed and checked before they left, and they're all good clean horses. They've grown out very well."

The Raise The Flag-Living Doll colt gained a boost after Blood Brotha's Wellington Cup win on Saturday. Both horses trace to Lal's Gift, who is the grand-dam of Blood Brotha and the third dam of the yearling.

Stewart is keen on the Raise The Flag-Of The Essence colt, considering Of The Essence won 10 races in her career. "If you could leave something a bit better than her, it could be a real top-notch horse. He's a lovely colt, and quite an athletic sort of a horse."