Promising gelding Atmosphere has become the latest three-year-old to be sold to Hong Kong racing interests and will now be now trained by leading Hong Kong trainer John Moore.
Atmosphere was purchased for $140,000 at the 2013 New Zealand Bloodstock Premier Yearling Sale and showed plenty of promise during his five race starts during his racing career to date, but was unable to record a race win and had accumulated only $60,025 in prizemoney for owner Shane Baertschiger, who is currently a race horse trainer in Singapore.
Trainer Trent Busuttin told TVN that he understood that Baertschiger had no choice but to accept the lucrative offer for Atmosphere, but he said he was upset to lose the talented son of Savabeel, who he revealed would have been set for races like the Group 1 Royal Randwick Guineas (1600m), Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) and Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m) during the 2015 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival.
“Obviously, it is disappointing to lose a horse of his quality,” Busuttin said.
“You need a horse like for a stable coming through.
“He would have been aimed up at those (Sydney) autumn staying races.
“The money was too good for the owner to turn down.”
Atmosphere showed Busuttin plenty in two barrier trials at Te Awamutu and Te Teko in New Zealand before making his racing debut and the rising trainer opted to bring the gelding to Australia without giving him a race start in New Zealand.
The three-year-old made his racing debut in the Pastry At Pieces Plate (1426m) at Sale on August 31 and he started the race as an odds-on favourite, but he was inconvenienced at the start and could finish no better than fifth before he suffered another defeat at Sale on September 18.
Atmosphere made his black type racing debut in the Listed UCI Stakes (1800m) at Flemington on October 4 and he stamped himself as a Victoria Derby contender with a fast-finishing second before he hit the line strongly again in the Group 2 Moonee Valley Vase (2040m) at Cox Plate Day.
Leading jockey Joao Moreira was booked to ride Atmosphere in the Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington on November 1 and he received a nice run into the race, but failed to show his usual dash in the final stages of the race and he could finish no better than tenth behind Preferment.
Atmosphere is the latest high profile three-year-old to be sold to Hong Kong after Group 1 placegetter Looks Like The Cat was sold for upwards of $1 million yesterday.