Rosehill entry Better Not Blue has a big heart but when it comes to offers from Asian interests it counts for nothing.
Trainer Michelle Ritchie revealed the three-year-old was the subject of an “unbelievable offer” straight after a last-to-first win at Warwick Farm earlier this month.
But because of Asian racing’s preference for horses with a bigger-than-average physical presence, Ritchie knew the deal was doomed from the start.
Better Not Blue is on the small side for a thoroughbred at 438kg and therefore falls well short of a criteria set by bloodstock agents acting for Hong Kong buyers.
“It was pretty much a done deal but as soon as I sent them back his weight they pulled out straight away,” Ritchie said.
“Horses need to be four hundred and eighty kilos plus for Hong Kong. They like big horses over there.”
Better Not Blue, set to run against his own age in a benchmark race over 1400m on Saturday, cost Ritchie $10,000 at a tried-horse sale and she admits the Hong Kong offer would have represented a gigantic windfall.
“What they offered was unbelievable. It would have been a great bonus for the rest of my life,” Ritchie said.
“But at the same time I still wasn’t too bothered because I still get to keep him.
“I’ve had a lot of fun with him and now I hope to keep having a lot more fun with him.”
Jockey Robbie Brewer has ridden Better Not Blue in the gelding’s past two wins at Moruya and Warwick Farm and Ritchie is pleased the combination will stay together for their biggest test after five starts.
“Robbie could have had his share of rides at Kembla on Saturday but he is more than happy to just have the one ride at Rosehill to stay with this horse,” Ritchie said.