High-class hurdler Belfast Banter sold for £130,000 in a stand-alone sale on the online auction platform ThoroughBid on Tuesday evening.
David Mullins Bloodstock went to £130,000 for the gelding, who was sold with an entry for the Grade 1 Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle on Saturday.
Trained by Peter Fahey on behalf of Direct Bloodstock, the son of Jeremy struck at the Cheltenham Festival when successful in the Grade 3 County Handicap Hurdle and later captured the Grade 1 Top Novices’ Hurdle at Aintree.
Fergal O’Neill, Belfast Banter’s previous owner, said: “It’s grand that we got the sale complete, and I think £130,000 is a very decent price. Being able to sell the horse in its own sale on a specific date has worked well and I’ll definitely be looking to use ThoroughBid again.
“I have been particularly impressed with ThoroughBid’s marketing of the horse and the way they gave the sale such great exposure, it’s been phenomenal. Watching the bids online was a fun experience too and the website worked perfectly well – you couldn’t fault the product.”
David Mullins revealed that Belfast Banter will now continue racing in America. He said: “He’s been bought for a leading owner in American Jumps racing. There’s a great programme out there for a horse like Belfast Banter and some nice purses to have a go at. I’d imagine he’ll be looking to run in all the major contests over there. He’s got plenty of speed, is a very slick jumper and is the sort of horse who should do well in those faster-finishing races on good ground.
“I was second in an American Grand National on a horse for Emmet [Mullins], Tornado Watch, in 2018 and I was introduced to some of the owners’ contacts who I was delighted to get involved with. I thought Belfast Banter would be an ideal type to go to America and it’s great that the owners wanted to get involved.
“You don’t get many opportunities to buy a six-year-old that’s won at the Cheltenham Festival and a Grade 1 at Aintree, it’s very rare, all those sorts of horses are owned by racing’s superpowers. Buying him was a no brainer to be honest and I think it’s a deal well done.
“Funnily enough, soon after I retired from riding I was thinking about trying to setup something like ThoroughBid, but I just wasn’t in the right place to be doing it at the time. They seemed to have got off to a good start and it looks like the way forward for selling horses.”