Two-time Group 1 winner Yourdeel has been sold to Hong Kong, further adding to the financial problems of the New Zealand racing industry.
New Zealand-based horseman Chris Rutten has confirmed the sale of dual Group One winning two-year-old Yourdeel to Hong Kong.
Prepared by Te Akau Racing's Jamie Richards, Yourdeel fashioned an impressive record of four wins and two placings from his six juvenile starts for Rutten and fellow owners John Norwood and Rod Preston.
The Dundeel gelding joins an esteemed honour roll of top racehorses selected by Rutten, which includes Champion New Zealand 2YO of his year Vespa, Karaka Million 2YO (1200m) placegetters Touche and Kingsman, and last year's Karaka Million 3YO Classic (1600m) winner Scott Base.
While Rutten resisted selling his stars in previous years, a substantial seven-figure offer from Hong Kong for Yourdeel proved too much to resist for Rutten and his co-owners.
"Racing in New Zealand, it is pretty hard to justify keeping him really," Rutten said.
"We haven't sold horses in the past, like Vespa and Scott Base, and things can go wrong, so this time we are being a bit realistic."
New Zealand-bred thoroughbreds have a good record in the Hong Kong Derby, winning six of the last 10, and Rutten believes Yourdeel is suited to the age-group feature.
"I think he is going to adapt really well to Hong Kong," Rutten said. "He is a relaxed horse. He eats well and settles in really well.
"He is going to get stronger as he gets a bit older and the distance of the Derby shouldn't be a problem for him, it should be right up his alley.
"He was a very nice mover. He did feel good the way he moved. You spend a lot of time on the ground getting them going before you break them and you get a good idea looking at them as well, and riding, I actually rode him myself too."
After breaking in Yourdeel, Rutten sent him north to be trained by Richards, who was entering his first season as a solo trainer after previously training in partnership with Stephen Autridge.
Rutten said the son of Dundeel didn't show any early signs of brilliance in his trials and gelding was the making of the horse.
"At the trials he was going alright, but he wasn't showing too much there for a while and all of sudden he came home well in the trial before his first race.
"The way he won his first start at Te Rapa was quite exciting."