The 11-year-old was the star name among close to 40 horses sold by Gigginstown House Stud at the September Horses In Training Sale, as Michael O’Leary’s operation conducted its annual dispersal.
The Noel Meade-trained veteran finished a creditable sixth in the Grand National at Aintree in April, but was well beaten at Galway and Down Royal since and was knocked down for £35,000 to David Christie, who is a leading figure on the point to point circuit in Northern Ireland.
Christie said: “I know he’s an older horse, but he moves like a four-year-old.
“He’s been in Noel’s all his life and hopefully a change of scenery will do him the world of good.
“He’s been bought by a client to go for those cross-country races in Cheltenham, Auteuil and Punchestown. That’s the number one plan.”
He added: “He’s been hunting in Ireland. Hopefully going down the cross-country route might just light the wick again.
“If that doesn’t work out we can maybe aim him at a National in the spring, but we’ll see.
“I think there’s a cross-country race at Cheltenham in November so we might aim to start him off there.”
Houldsworth said: “He’s been bought to go hunter chasing in Ireland.”
“There are no plans for him. We’ll just get him home and see how he gets on,” said the Gloucestershire-based trainer.
“He’s obviously a quality horse with a cracking story behind him and at that price he was just too good to miss.”