GROUP One winner Ventura Storm has been sold privately by Middleham Park Racing to continue his career in Australia.
The three-year-old colt is seen as a possible Melbourne Cup contender for the future after showing top-class form over mile and a half and beyond.
After striking at Listed and Group Three level, the Richard Hannon-trained son of Zoffany went close to Classic glory when second in the Ladbrokes St Leger at Doncaster before going one better in the Premio Jockey Club at San Siro last month.
Middleham Park’s syndicate manager Tim Palin said: “David Hayes will be his trainer and he has been purchased by Astute Bloodstock.
“I think they are buying him with the Melbourne Cup in mind. He does strike you as a horse that is almost tailor-made for that.
“He stays well and has got a rating that would commensurate him getting in the race off a nice weight.
“If he improves as a four-year-old and a five-year-old I can see him putting up big shows in races like that over the next year or two.
“Obviously he’s in the form of his life and at the peak of his powers, but when a big operation comes knocking with a very hefty offer you have to sit up and take notice.
“After quite a lot of deliberation, the owners have decided it might be a prudent time to sell him on and we wish the new owners and his new trainer the very best of luck.”
Ventura Storm won six of his 12 starts when in the hands of Hannon, amassing £327,000 in prize-money.
l Kauto Star is to be honoured with a specially-commissioned trophy to be awarded to the owner of the next horse that completes the Jockey Club Chase Triple Crown.
The trophy, in addition to the £1million bonus, is up for grabs for any horse that can win the Betfair Chase, the 32Red King George VI Chase and the Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup in the same season.
NEWCASTLE: 12.20 Holmeswood, 12.50 Sutter County (treble), 1.25 HIGHLAND ACCLAIM (NAP), 1.55 Sunglider, 2.25 Miss Tree, 3.00 Hard Toffee, 3.35 Bay Mirage.
CHELMSFORD: 4.40 Roundabout Magic, 5.15 Time To Study, 5.50 Regal Dan, 6.25 Chookie Royale, 7.00 Remember Me, 7.30 Hidden Gem, 8.00 Dream Ruler.
MARKET RASEN: 1.00 Mr Monochrome, 1.30 Theatre Act, 2.05 Oscar Rock, 2.35 Cusheen Bridge (next best), 3.10 Foundation Man, 3.45 Western Ryder.
WINCANTON: 12.40 Persian Delight, 1.15 Milan Of Crystal, 1.45 Abidjan, 2.15 The Yank, 2.50 Lettheriverrundry, 3.25 Laval Noir, 4.00 Distant Rain.