HEARTBREAK CITY is to be prepared for the Emirates Melbourne Cup after Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock purchased a share of the Ebor winner.
Original owners, Here For The Craic Partnership, have retained an interest in the six-year-old who will be trained for the ‘race that stops a nation’ by his current handler Tony Martin.
Heartbreak City was allotted 8st 5lb for the Flemington showpiece on November 1, when the new part-owners will hope to win the showpiece event for the first time after near-misses with Jakkalberry (third in 2012) and Dandino (fifth in 2013).
Confirmation that Heartbreak City – who was ridden to victory on the Knavesmire by Malton-based apprentice Adam McNamara – is heading to Australia means the Lando gelding will not run in the Betfred Cesarewitch at Newmarket on Saturday week.
“An Australian group have got involved, I don’t know what percentage, but the original men are still very much there,” said County Meath-based Martin.
“He was in the Cesarewitch, he was in a lot of things, but the intention is to set him qualified for quarantine and send him for the Melbourne Cup. It’s a handicap. He’s in off a racing weight and he has a right to be there.”
Meanwhile, the world of National Hunt racing has been rocked by the announcement that Willie Mullins will no longer be training for Gigginstown House Stud.
Ireland’s perennial champion trainer, Mullins’s dominance of the sport is so great that he was nearly crowned the leading handler in Britain last season and was only denied by Paul Nicholls on the final day.
Gigginstown have been the growing force in recent years and claimed the owners’ championship in Ireland for the fourth time during 2015-16.
However, the two parties have agreed to go their separate ways after Mullins raised his training fees and Gigginstown, which is run by Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary and his brother, Eddie, refused to pay the new rate.
Mullins said: “We’re parting company – it’s basically over fees, I imagine. I put up my fees for the first time in 10 years and Gigginstown chose not to pay them. That’s it, we’re just parting company. I’m not willing to try to maintain the standards I have (without putting the fees up), so that’s the way it is.”
In a statement, Gigginstown said: “We have agreed –with considerable regret – to move the Gigginstown horses to alternative trainers. We hope that an agreement can be reached at some time in the future which will allow Willie to resume buying and training more graded winners for us.”
The combination have enjoyed Cheltenham Festival success with the likes of Sir Des Champs and Don Poli, while Valseur Lido, Outlander and the hugely-promising Apple’s Jade all achieved big-race glory in the maroon and white silks last term.