By Jon Lees
Ireland: Royal Ascot winner Russian Emperor, seventh in the Derby on his most recent outing, has joined the exodus of three-year-old talent to Hong Kong after he was sold out of Aidan O’Brien’s stable.
The deal was confirmed on Friday that the Galileo colt had run his last race for Ballydoyle after owners Lauri Macri and the Coolmore partners accepted a lucrative offer.
Russian Emperor is expected to join the stable of Douglas Whyte, the former Hong Kong champion jockey, who has just completed his first season as a trainer.
Russian Emperor has run five times for O’Brien and broke his maiden at Naas in March, just before racing in Ireland was halted by coronavirus.
After resumption in June he finished second in the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial and then won the G3 Hampton Court Stakes at Ascot.
He lined up in the Derby as the 6-1 third favourite, Ballydoyle’s shortest-priced horse in the betting, and finished a running-on seventh, just over eight lengths behind runaway winner Serpentine.
The completion of the sale means both first and third from the Hampton Court will be racing in Hong Kong next season with the Andrew Balding-trained Berlin Tango having also been sold to join the stable of Tony Cruz, who has also recruited French Listed winner Waltham from Christophe Ferland.
Ferland trained German-bred Chares to win all three starts last year before the colt changed hands for €710,000 at the Arqana Arc Sale to go into training with Jane Chapple-Hyam.
Chares made a winning start when defeating Berlin Tango in a conditions race at Kempton in March and Chapple-Hyam has confirmed he left the stable for Hong Kong in early June.
Hong Kong buyers also this week snapped up the G1 placed Malotru, who has left Marco Botti’s stable to join David Hayes.