The Japanese have ended Hong Kong's chances of luring the brilliant Pentire to compete in the International Races at Sha Tin in December by buying the colt privately, reputedly for $50 million. The new owners are the powerful Yoshida family's Shadai Stud Farms, who have nominated the Japan Cup in Tokyo at the end of November as the four-year-old's ultimate target. The Japan Cup is too close to the Hong Kong International Vase to permit the colt to run in both. The belief that Japan is preparing to take a dominant role in the bloodstock world was further strengthened this week with by the news that the winner of Saturday's King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes at Ascot has joined a long list of top horses from Europe to be exported to the Far East. Pentire, who is to be retired at the end of the current season, will continue to be trained by Geoff Wragg at Newmarket for his remaining principal targets, the Breeders' Cup Turf at Woodbine, Toronto, and the Japan Cup at Fuchu, Tokyo. Michael Hills will retain the mount. John Ferguson, the bloodstock agent who manages the Moller Racing trust, the colt's former owners, mentioned the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp as another possible target for Pentire, although Wragg has already expressed concern about the possibility of soft ground in Paris in October. 'Moller Racing have decided that in view of the fact that the King George is likely to have been Pentire's last race on English soil, it was better to make plans for the horse's future sooner rather than later,' Ferguson said. Wragg, thoroughly delighted with Pentire's victory at Ascot, added: 'As far as the horse is concerned, the only thing that changes are the colours, which will be those of Teruya Yoshida, who raced White Muzzle in Europe a couple of years ago.' The sale of Pentire follows only weeks after Lammtarra became the fifth consecutive Epsom Derby winner to be exported to Japan for stud duties.