Group One winner Azkadellia, who has been banned from racing, has been sold at public auction at Echuca for $615,000 to a private buyer.
As to who the vendor of Azkadellia was and who purchased the mare, along with three other horses, Racing Victoria is so far unaware.
Azkadellia along with Hart, Loveable Rogue and Mr Simples were all sold on Thursday at Echuca under the Agistment Act where a landowner attempts to recoup money owed under a lien.
The winner of the Group One Queen Of The Turf Stakes at Randwick in the autumn of 2016, Azkadellia has not raced since June 2016 following a Racing Victoria investigation into the mare’s ownership bona fides.
Convicted con man Peter Foster was the mastermind behind an elaborate conspiracy to hide his ownership of Azkadellia which eventually led to the disqualification of Ciaron Maher’s racing manager Ben Connolly.
Connolly was, and still is, listed as the mare’s owner with Racing Australia along with the other horses which also have a racing embargo upon them.
Maher was suspended for six months and fined $75,000 on charges including improper and dishonourable action and conduct prejudicial to the image, interests and welfare of racing.
Azkadellia was disqualified from several races in Victoria but retained her Group One win in NSW and could have a career as a broodmare.
In a statement, Racing Victoria advised the embargo on the four horses remains in place and would not be lifted until stewards are satisfied with the ownership bona fides.
“RV Stewards formed the view that until such time as they receive an order from a court or tribunal of competent jurisdiction declaring the ownership of these horses, they would not be in a position to determine the bona fides of the ownership and therefore consider lifting the embargo,” the statement said.
“RV is not aware of any orders from a court or tribunal preventing Azkadellia, Mr Simples, Loveable Rogue and Hart from being offered for sale at a public auction.”
The Echuca sale has in the past been notorious for attracting buyers from the meat trade, although former racehorses have been saved in recent years.