Purple Moon, the most expensive horse ever bought to go racing over hurdles, is to leave Nicky Richards and will join Luca Cumani in Newmarket.

The four-year-old was bought by Craig Bennett for a record 440,000gns at Newmarket's Tattersalls Sales in October after being in the care of Sir Michael Stoute.

He made his debut over timber at Musselburgh in January and won at the first time of asking, without hurdling fluently.

He was then beaten by the smart Degas Art back at the Scottish venue a month later, failing to impress with his jumping once more.

‘Purple Moon was an expensive horse, and he does have a lot of ability,’ said Richards.

‘It was agreed to give him a campaign on the Flat this summer, and hopefully he'll win some nice races and give his owner a lot of fun.

‘In the long term, all options remain open. I do not know at this stage whether or not he'll return here to go jumping next winter. A lot will depend on how he gets on back on the Flat,’ he told the Racing Post.