Cheltenham-winning race horse sold for £130,000 and will go to USA to compete

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A Cheltenham-winning horse has been sold for a whopping £130,000 and will be going to America to race.

Last season's Cheltenham Festival and Grade 1- winning horse Belfast Banter was sold via ThoroughBid’s exclusive one-horse sale on Tuesday evening, going to former jockey David Mullins.

It took two hours of bidding for the exciting son of Jeremy, performer for Peter Fahey and Direct Bloodstock Limited, to be sold to the purchaser.

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.”

Mullins revealed that now the horse will continue his racing endeavours 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.

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“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.

Mullins continued: “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.”

The last high sale at the ThoroughBid auction was e £60,000 for Jolie Comtesse, with co-founder Will Kinsey delighted with the auction house’s early success. He said: “Firstly, I’d like to thank Fergal O’Neill of Direct Bloodstock for entrusting ThoroughBid with the sale of such a high-profile horse, as well as Peter Fahey for all of his help in selling him.

"We’re delighted to have been able to bring Belfast Banter to market with this bespoke one-horse auction, and hope to have proved that the flexibility of our online auction house is attractive for future sales.

“Congratulations to David Mullins for securing him. We wish all connections the best of luck for the future with Belfast Banter.”


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  • Horse racing
  • Cheltenham

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