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Oath price confirmed at $8m.

A FIGURE of about $8 million (pounds 4.9 million) was yesterday revealed as the price paid by Yushun Farm in Japan to purchase the Derby winner Oath.

The deal, which emerged earlier this week, means that the Fairy King colt, who has not raced since sustaining a cracked knee in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes at Ascot in July, is the sixth Epsom winner in the past 10 years to retire to stud in Japan.

He will follow in the footsteps of his trainer Henry Cecil's 1993 Derby winner Commander In Chief, who also stands at Yushun and has made quite an impact in Japan, topping the list of first-season sires there in 1997.

Fellow Derby winners Generous, Dr Devious - who has since returned to stand in Ireland - Erhaab and Lammtarra were also sold to Japan.

Preliminary veterinary examinations on Oath have gone smoothly and he is now waiting for blood tests and swabs to be taken before he can leave Warren Place, probably towards the end of next month.

Andrew Mead of Mead Goodbody, the bloodstock agents acting on behalf of Yushun in the purchase of Oath from The Thoroughbred Corporation, said yesterday: "We're very happy that an agreement has been reached.

"The syndication of Oath is going extremely well in Japan. He's very nearly full up for his first season already. As a Derby-winning son of Fairy King, he's going to sell like hotcakes."

Cecil said: "I feel he'll be a great success, because he was a very good Derby winner. I felt that he had physically developed before the King George, but he slipped and injured his knee and that put him out for the rest of the year. We won't forget him at Warren Place in a hurry."

Oath's sale to Japan was yesterday

attributed to the trend favouring mile and sprint stallions in Europe.

Miles Littlewort, chief executive of the National Stud, said: "You only have to look at our experience with [1996 Derby winner] Shaamit to see why Oath has gone abroad.

"Shaamit has been available at between pounds 7,500 and pounds 5,000 for a nomination during his time with us and we haven't exactly been knocked over in the rush. People do not favour middle-distance sires."
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Title Annotation:Sports
Author:Goff, Tom
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Oct 22, 1999
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