Gai Splashes Out On Cup Hopeful

Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott have purchased the top lot from the prestigious Goffs London Sale on the eve of the Royal Ascot Festival.

Waterhouse and Bott, in partnership with bloodstock agent Johnny McKeever and Sir Own Glenn’s Go Bloodstock parted with £1,200,000 ($2.09 million AUD) for Epsom Derby runner-up Hoo Ya Mal.

An opening bid of £1,000,000 signaled intent and in just three bids they had secured the son of Territories who is currently in training with Andrew Balding.

Breaking his maiden at York at the start of last season, Hoo Ya Mal has placed in each of his six outings and finished a 2.5-length second to Desert Crown in the Epsom Derby last start.

As is common at the Goffs Sale held in the Kensington Palace Garden, Hoo Ya Mal holds an entry over the Royal Ascot Festival on Friday in the Group 2 King Edward VII Stakes.

“We’ll have a discussion with Andrew (Balding) and see how he’s done after that run in the Derby as we want to do right by the horse first and foremost, but the new owners would be very interested in having an Ascot runner,” Bott told Racing Post.

“Ultimately the main aim is racing in Australia but it’s a huge attraction to have a runner at Royal Ascot.”

Bott confirmed the long-term aim would be the Melbourne Cup, with the stable having also purchased G1 winner Pornichet from the same sale in 2014.

“He’s got a profile that we think will really suit Australian racing, obviously with races like the Melbourne Cup being high up on the agenda for him,” Bott said.

“As you know, the racing industry in Australia seems vibrant and healthy with great prize-money around.

“We had to be strong on the horse and pay what I thought was a fair amount but I’m excited to get him down there and see what he can do for us.

“He came onto the radar when we saw the entry for the sale and we did a bit of homework on him prior to his run in the Derby, so he was well on the radar before Epsom.

“Obviously that run confirmed what we thought of him and that’s the profile you want to see, a horse who’s continuing to improve and he’s improved every time he’s stepped out.

“The Derby is probably the most prestigious race over here and there’s been very few horses of that calibre come to Australia, although we’re starting to see it a bit more now.”

Hoo Ya Mal became the second-most expensive horse to be sold at the London Sale.

– racing.com

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