Tinkler duo heading to sales
Andrew Tinkler was thrilled to see Royal Diamond clinch a dramatic victory at Ascot on Saturday on what could be his final start for the owner.
Tinkler, who made his fortune as chief executive for leading logistics company Stobart Group, paid 400,000 guineas for the now seven-year-old almost four years ago.
Initially it looked a hefty price tag as Royal Diamond disappointed on the Flat with trainer Michael Dods and over hurdles with Jonjo O'Neill, but a move to Ireland turned his fortunes around.
Winner of the 2012 Irish St Leger when trained by Tommy Carmody, the gelding is now with trainer-jockey Johnny Murtagh and secured his third win of the campaign in a thrilling British Champions Long Distance Cup on Saturday.
An emotional Murtagh described it as "the best day of my life" in the Ascot winner's enclosure, but there is no room for sentiment with his owner and Royal Diamond remains set to go under the hammer at Tattersalls sales on Monday week.
Tinkler said: "It was a brilliant day and a great performance from the horse. He is in the sales and if the right offer comes in, then he'll be sold. If he doesn't make the money we want, then he'll come home.
"At the end of the day it's a business. You can't get too emotional about it. If you're not in the race you can't win and it's the same with the sales.
"Although he's a seven-year-old I still believe he's at the top of his game and if someone else wants to pay the money and buy him, I hope he goes on and does really well for them. That's the way I look at it."
Asked whether he had a price in mind for his star stayer, Tinkler said: "It will be in my head on the day, don't worry about that."
It turned out to be an excellent afternoon for the Murtagh-Tinkler combination, with Belle De Crecy running a superb race to finish second in the Group One British Champions Fillies And Mares Stakes.
Tinkler believes there could be even more to come from the four-year-old, but she too is set to go under the hammer in the Tattersalls December Mare Sale.
"The filly ran a blinder and we always felt that once she got a bit of cut in the ground she could improve again and she obviously has," said Tinkler.
"It was her first run over a mile and a half and the distance obviously suited her well, so we're really pleased with her. It's a similar situation with her. Hopefully she's going to make a good broodmare, but it could be she's an even better filly as a five-year-old.
"We're looking at our options now. She's in the mares sales in December, so we'll see."