The ex Ed Walker trianed English King will be moving to Australia off the back of being sold at the Tattersalls Autumn Horses In Training Sale on Wednesday for 925,000 guineas.
The three year old bounced onto the racing scene back in October finishing a modest seventh in a novice contest at Newmarket but since that run which seemed to kick him into gear, he has been unstoppable.
He broke his maiden tag at Newmarket, which has been the home of unleashing smart horses in the past and off the back of that win he started his 2020 campaign off even better with a decisive win at Lingfield in the Listed Derby Trial.
He was all set to run a big race in the Derby, but the way the race played out did not play to his strengths and he could only finish a staying on fifth.
Since then he has not been able to find his Mojo, which may have been the reason for his selling, having finished a poor fourth in the Gordon Stakes at Glorious Goodwood and sixth of 10 on his final start in the Grand Prix de Paris.
Bidding for English King opened at 400,000 guineas and after a battle between Ted Voute and Armando Duarte, Duarte managed to land the hammer blow and acquired the three year old for Ballymore Stables Australia and Paul Moroney Bloodstock.
Walker told www.tattersalls.com: “It has been a perfect storm. In a normal year Bjorn may have sold more yearlings and he may have been up for competing internationally with this horse from home, but when I tried to persuade Bjorn to keep him and aim for all these big races in Australia and Hong Kong and around the world, quite rightly Bjorn was worried as to whether we’d be able to race in those races? Will racing be happening? Will we be able to travel? Will the horse be able to travel?
“Unfortunately it is a perfect storm. I would have loved to hang on to him, but a great result and Bjorn puts a lot into the game and it is great to get a big result like that.”
Walker added: “We have had a great journey with him, and he made lock-down a bit more interesting! It was a wonderful season and it did not end as we hoped it would – I am still looking for my first Group One winner and I was certain he would be it, things just played against him.
“He had a couple of very hard races – you don’t break a 30-year-track record without giving your all, he had a hard race at Lingfield, and then a very hard race in the Derby when he ran an absolute blinder.
“His next two races weren’t up to that level, but he is not a big horse and those races probably took their toll.
“I am very grateful to the guys who bought him and wish them every bit of luck and I hope he wins the Melbourne Cup for them. I think he is tailor-made for the Cup – he’ll stay, he travels, he loves fast ground and I will be thrilled if he does that for them.”