Racing: Record buy put to test

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The Independent Online
GATFLAX ATTEMPTS to make the first repayment on his record-breaking purchase price at Wetherby today. The six-year-old, who became the most expensive jumper ever sold at public auction in Britain when bought out of Nigel Twiston-Davies's stable for 200,000 guineas at Doncaster in October, lines up for the Habton Novices' Chase.

It will be a first run over fences for the gelding, who was bought by Dr John Hollowood - the wealthy backer of Gatflax's trainer, Andy Turnell.

Victory over today's 11 rivals - who include Foundry Lane and Scotton Lane from the yards of the Wetherby specialists Mary Reveley and Tim Easterby respectively - would not go a long way to repaying Gatflax's cost. Today's first prize is pounds 3,782 - just 1.9 per cent of his purchase price.

n The Breeders' Cup Distaff winner Escena is to be sold at auction. Allen Paulson, has included the mare among 50 horses he will send to the Keeneland January sale.