Australian Derby placegetter Eric The Eel will do his future racing in Hong Kong after being sold to clients of trainer Danny Shum.
Eric The Eel, who cost $7000 as a yearling, has won four races and been Group One-placed in the Australian Derby when third last month.
The gelding, by Olympic Glory, was bought on a whim at the Magic Millions Sales.
Trainer Stuart Kendrick and his owner Neil Douglas were chatting with a stud handler who told them he had a yearling who would be a good cheap buy.
“We were sitting at the sales and he came in and didn’t get a bid so we bought him for $7000,” Kendrick said.
“We were going to call him Usain Bolt after the champion sprinter but that was taken so we named him Eric The Eel after Equatorial Guinea swimmer Eric Moussambani Malonga.
“He competed at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and was rated one of the slowest swimmers of all time.
“Luckily our Eric went a bit better.”
Eric The Eels’s price is confidential but is believed to have been in the high six figures.
Kendrick said an approach had been made to buy Eric The Eel two weeks ago but had kept the offer under wraps until it was finalised.
“He passed the vet’s check last week but nothing was finalised until Thursday night,” Kendrick said.
“We are obviously sad to see him go but the money on offer was just too good.
“It might have been different had the Queensland Derby still been on. But he would have to win a lot of races to earn anything like the price they were willing to offer.
“Eric is owned by a great group of people and you have to do the best by them.”
Kendrick has made a success of selling horses to Hong Kong including Ted who won the 2018 Hong Kong Derby as Ping Hai Star.
He also sold 2018 Magic Millions Classic runner-up Fullazaboot to Hong Kong.
“In the end you have to do what is the best for your owners as you don’t get many chances,” Kendrick said.