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Marwing to ride Gitano Hernando in three Dubai starts

Team Valor president Barry Irwin announced this week that his Dubai World Cup probable, Gitano Hernando, will get two preps before the world’s richest race.  The latter two legs of the Maktoum Challenge will serve as the leg-stretchers for the 2009 Goodwood Stakes (G1) winner, in advance of a second try at the Dubai World Cup.  Of more interest, Irwin declared that Hong Kong-based Weichong Marwing, who had spent several seasons at the Carnival, is booked on all of the mounts.

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  1. Gitano Hernando ran a nice effort in this year’s Champion Stakes at Newmarket. Much like Allybar, Gitano’s Hernando’s synthetic surface form is much better than his turf form. So to finish 4th, beaten only by Twice Over, Vision D’Etat, and Debussy(in great form) on the day speaks volumes to how well Gitano Hernando is progressing. He had just beaten a very decent field in the G3 Diamond Stakes at Dundalk on the all-weather, prior to running in the Champion Stakes back on the turf. Gitano Hernando has only one career loss on synthetic surfaces, anywhere in the world that he’s raced on the surface. That was a 6th place finish in last year’s Dubai World Cup. Where he pinned on the rail, and had a very troubled trip throughout. Frankly, I don’t think he got as aggressive a ride by Kieren Fallon in the race as he could’ve. But since he’s returning to Meydan for the 2011 Dubai Racing Carnival. He’d certainly have to be on any short list of contenders as having the ability to win the 2011 Dubai World Cup. IMO.

  2. Connection’s of Gitano Hernando chose to race him in the G1 Goodwood Stakes at Santa Anita in America, and at Lingfield in the Winter Derby Trial in preparation for the 2010 Dubai World Cup. Gitano Hernando should have been sent over for more than one race last year as well, IMO. After he won the Goodwood Stakes in America, Gitano Hernando had an automatic “win and your in” spot for the 2009 Breeders Cup Classic. But they sent him back to Great Britain and raced him at Lingfield instead. Trying to get him ready for the DWC. Big difference between the pro-ride at Santa Anita, the all-weather at Lingfield, and the Tapeta at Meydan. As Gitano Hernando found out the hard way.

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