The sale was confirmed by trainer Simon Callaghan, who had conditioned the Irish-bred daughter of Val Royal for Michael Tabor in her last two starts since shipping from England to the United States. Prior to the Gamely, Belle Royale captured the April 7 American Beauty Stakes in her first stateside outing. She was expected to contend in the Breeders Cup World Championships in November.
"She was a very exciting filly to train—especially because of her style and the way she had that late kick," said Callaghan. "It's a particularly unfortunate scenario because she's one of the best horses I've ever trained, but that's racing."
Callaghan noted that when the injury was discovered, there was a 50% chance the filly could return to racing and it probably wouldn't be to the same competitive level as before the injury. Her recovery and retraining could have taken up to a year. "I think the right decision was made (to retire and sell her)," Callaghan said.
The deal was brokered by bloodstock agent Richard Brown of Blandford Bloodstock. Neither Belle Royale's price tag, nor the specific name of the Japanese farm that purchased the filly was disclosed. The sale is expected to be finalized in the next couple days, after which Belle Royale will be sent from Ashford Stud near Versailles, Ky., to Japan.
Belle Royale, who was raced in England during the first two years of her career by trainer Mike Brisbourne and owner Peter Mort, retired with 10 wins and seven second-place finishes from 26 starts, for earnings of $358,231.
Bred by DXB Ltd., Belle Royale is out of the Brief Truce mare Kahyasi Moll.