Owner Darren Yates and trainer Phil Kirby made waves at the Goffs UK Spring Sale on Thursday with the record purchase of Interconnected at Doncaster for £620,000.
The gelding, formerly trained by Nicky Henderson, was part of the dispersal sale of owners Mike Grech and Stuart Parkin and the price tag is an unprecedented one for a National Hunt horse in training.
A five-year-old who started his career in point to points with Sophie Lacey, Interconnected has run once under rules, finishing a close second to the smart Emitom in a novice hurdle at Newbury in March.
That form was shown in a good light when Emitom went on to finish runner-up to Champ in a Grade One at Aintree.
Interviewed by Mike Cattermole for Goffs UK on its Twitter feed, Yates said: “It’s not really a record I enjoy holding! But I’m very happy with the horse, very happy.
“For me he’s got Gold Cup written all over him, that’s a long way off, but we’ll see. I think his run over hurdles was an amazing run, I think he’ll progress massively now.”
Kirby added: “He’s a proper horse, he’s the one we really wanted.
“I didn’t expect him to make that, but we wanted the best we could buy and that’s what we thought he is.
“I want to train proper horses and that’s what we hope he is.”
North Yorkshire-based Kirby is viewed as a rising star of the training ranks, and has enjoyed plenty of success with the likes of star mare Lady Buttons, Grade Two-winning hurdler Nautical Nitwit and smart all-weather performer Stargazer.
His link with Yates has already seen the high-profile acquisitions of Grand National candidates Blaklion and Don Poli.