Home / Racing News / Gitano Hernando takes Singapore Airlines International Cup; Rocket Man gets his KrisFlyer

Gitano Hernando takes Singapore Airlines International Cup; Rocket Man gets his KrisFlyer

The richest race in Singapore shaped up as one lacking a strong pace, and Gitano Hernando took full advantage, settling towards the front, allowing Hong Kong’s California Memory to pre-emptively prompt the pace, then kick away late to hold off River Jetez for the win in the 2011 Singapore Airlines International Cup (G1).  The win was the first on a big stage, for the now Herman Brown-trainee, since the 2009 Goodwood Stakes (G1) at Santa Anita.  Hong Kong’s Irian deadheated for third with local hope Waikato.  Brown trained Jay Peg to win the race in 2008.  Gitano Hernando was set off at 14-1 following his sixth in the Dubai World Cup (G1) behind Victoire Pisa, and an eighth place finish behind Ambitious Dragon in the Audemars Piguet Queen Elizabeth II Cup (G1) at Sha Tin.  The video of the race is posted below.

Photo courtesy Singapore Turf Club

A race earlier, Singaporean sensation Rocket Man dominated the KrisFlyer International Sprint (G1) with an almost five-length victory over Eclair Fastpass and Perfect Pins.  Al Quoz Sprint (G2) third, Better Be The One, and local UAE hope Happy Dubai, were never involved. The win was the first in three tries in the race for the son of Viscount, second in both the 2009 and 2010 editions.


  1. I know watching Gitano Hernando win this race had to be tough for Marco Botti. As he always said that Gitano Hernando was the star of his stable. I wouldn’t have bet Gitano Hernando to win this race, but I’ve always liked the horse a great deal, so congrats to him!! I personally thought River Jetez or California Memory would be the one to beat in the race. This win is definitely a career best for Gitano Hernando on turf, and possibly a career best, period!! It’s the biggest race he’s won since Marco Botti shipped him to America in 2009, and he won the G1 Goodwood Stakes at Santa Anita on their pro-ride surface. Glad to see that Gitano Hernando showed that he finally belongs as a serious horse on turf, too. Because he’s always been thought to be at least a grade better over a synthetic surface than he has been on turf throughout his career. Well done to connection’s!!

  2. Forget about Overdose!! This is what a real world class sprinter looks like!! Rocket Man’s continued to impress more and more, season after season, the older he get’s!! Never worse than 2nd in his career, and unlike Overdose, Rocket Man has compiled that record racing in legitimate G1 sprints. I think the world very much want’s to see a Rocket Man vs. Black Caviar showdown at this point. Or at least I know I sure do!!

  3. This win has to be a little bitter sweet for Marco Botti if he was watching Gitano Hernando in this race? Although I’d imagine his very talented 3yr.old colt, Excelebration, winning the German 2000 Guineas today helped sweeten it a bit!! Botti always called Gitano Hernando his “star of the stable” before he was sold just prior to the Dubai World Cup. After seeing Gitano Hernando run a very decent 4th behind Twice Over, Vision D’Etat, and Debussy at Newmarket in the G1 Champion Stakes back in October. I thought that Gitano Hernando might win a G1 stakes race on turf eventually. But I figured something more along the lines of maybe sneaking over to America and winning the G1 Arlington Million like Debussy did in 2010. This was a tough, classy field of competitors that Gitano Hernando beat in Singapore!! Very well done to the horse and his connection’s!!

  4. Kathy Immelman

    Now I’m waiting for River Jetez to break her run of seconds and thirds in the big ones. There’s talk of her maybe taking on the Beverley D in the USA … time is running out for her though as she is 7 years old now. I’d imagine this will be her last year in training.

  5. Kathy Immelman

    Re River Jetez: her owners must be congratulated on keeping her so long in training. With her combination of breeding (own sister to SA’s 3-time champion racehorse Pocket Power) and performance both locally and in Dubai, she is a red-hot paddock prospect. Most owners would have sent her to the breeding shed two years ago.

  6. I’m not certain that I buy that Gitano Hernando’s a grade better over a synthetic surface than he is over turf anymore?? This was Gitano Hernando’s third career G1 stakes on turf, and he’s run a cracker in 2 of the 3. He ran a really good 4th in the Champion Stakes at Newmarket, and of course he beat a class field in Singapore. Only his start in Hong Kong in the Audemars Piguet Q.E.II Cup was really a sub-par effort of his 3 G1 turf run’s. I’m also a big River Jetez fan as well. Fell in love with the mare when I saw her in Dubai this year. Forget going to the G1 Beverly D. with her? I personally believe the G1 Arlington Million would suite Gitano Hernando and River Jetez both right down to the ground!! Also wouldn’t be surprised to see Michael Bell bring Wigmore Hall back to Arlington Park for the Million this year. Since he seemed to handle the track really well last year when he finished 2nd behind Paddy O’Prado in the G1 Secretariat Stakes there.

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