By Jon Lees
GB: Malotru, the best horse in the Marco Botti stable, has run his final race for the yard after being sold to continue his career in Hong Kong.
The three-year-old colt will be joining the stable of Australian David Hayes, who is soon to begin his second training stint in Hong Kong.
Malotru won three times for Botti, including at G3 level in Italy, but saved his best performance for last when finishing third behind Pinatubo in the G1 Prix Jean Prat at Deauville this month in the colours of the Hon Earle Mack and Les Boyer.
Botti said: “We are very sad to lose him but it’s the same story with these horses. We were delighted with his run in the Jean Prat but that attracted a lot of interest to go abroad and that was the case with him. Hong Kong is a strong market and there probably aren’t many horses available.
“I would say he was our best horse. In a way he has just been a little unlucky. In the Pavilion Stakes at Newcastle, the race didn’t really pan out as we wanted and he was an unlucky loser.
“We were confident he would be better than G3 level. When we decided to go for the Jean Prat we had him in great form and that was the day he showed what he was capable of. We don’t have many three-year-olds and he was definitely the best one we had this year.
“He has already left the yard to do the quarantine and then he will be shipped to Hong Kong in the next two or three weeks.”
Hayes trained in Hong Kong for nine seasons up to 2005, sending out 458 winners and securing two training titles.
He has replaced John Moore and taken on the training of Moore’s star horse, former Hong Kong horse of the year Beauty Generation. Hayes has left his successful Australian operation in the hands of his son Ben and nephew Tom Dabernig.
Bloodstock agent Alastair Donald, who brokered the deal, said Malotru had been bought by the Siu family, who own the Ed Walker-trained Stormy Antarctic and whose Hong Kong team include Waikuku, who beat Beauty Generation in the G1 Stewards Cup in January.