Classy performer English King will continue his career in Australia after selling to agent Armando Duarte, acting on behalf of Paul Moroney and Ballymore Thoroughbreds, for 925,000 at the Tattersalls Autumn Horses in Training Sale on Wednesday.

English King entered the ring with a record that had seen him win two races for trainer Ed Walker and owner Bjorn Nielsen including the Listed Derby Trial at Lingfield where he got the better of St Leger runner-up Berkshire Rocco by an impressive two and three-quarter lengths.

That performance propelled him to the head of the betting for Epsom’s showpiece and while he could only finish fifth behind Serpentine, it was easy to see why a number of individuals at Tattersalls wanted to secure the son of Camelot for themselves.

The early proceedings saw blows traded by Alastair Donald and Ted Voute until Duarte entered the fray to match Voute. It was Duarte’s bid of 925,000gns that won out and with no further response from Voute, the hammer went down signalling the end of the bidding.

Walker, who was present watching the colt sell at Park Paddocks, said: “I’d have far rather won that money on the track or won the Derby with him, but it’s just been the perfect storm with him. In a normal year Bjorn may have sold more yearlings or been up for competing internationally with him from home.

“But when I tried to persuade Bjorn to keep him and aim for these big races in Australia and Hong Kong, quite rightly he was worried about whether he would be able to go to the races – or will racing even be happening.

“Unfortunately, it was the perfect storm for me trying to hang on to him. It’s a great result in the ring though, and as Bjorn puts so much into the game it’s great to get a result like that for him. It’s crap for me as a young-ish trainer though!

“we’ve had a great journey with him, God he made lockdown a lot more interesting! It didn’t end how we hoped it would, but things just played against him. I still believe he’ll be a very good horse though and I’ve very grateful to the guys who’ve bough him.

“He’s tailor made for the Melbourne Cup and I’d be thrilled if he could go and win the Cup for his new owners.”

Ballymore Thoroughbreds is the training operation of Paul Moroney’s brother Mike and after signing the docket, Duarte added: “English King’s track-record performance winning the Lingfield Derby Trial beating St Leger runner-up Berkshire Rocco was one of the most breathtakingly dominant performances anywhere this year.

“He’s clearly a highly talented colt with loads of quality and we’re thrilled to have secure him. Through their joint sire Camelot and with similar race records at the same stage, English King maps the same as last weekend’s Cox Plate winner Sir Dragonet.

“We’ve bought him for a syndicate headed by two New Zealand businessmen and a collection of Ballymore Stables’ Australian clients. He’s certainly an exciting addition to the team and our first time playing at this very high level so one could say the pressure is on for him to peform!

“He will head down under in December to join Mike’s Flemington stable in early January and we’ll play things by ear. He will likely race in our autumn but next spring will be the main focus going forward.”