DUBAI // Gitano Hernando, the Dubai World Cup contender, is to transfer to Herman Brown's yard after his second run in the world's richest race on Saturday.
The South African trainer, who saddles Sweet Ducky, another new recruit, in the UAE Derby, said he was looking forward to campaigning Gitano Hernando in Asia with a run in either Hong Kong or Singapore in mind.
The horse, sixth in the World Cup last year, and fourth to World Cup favourite Twice Over in the English Champion Stakes, is a Grade 1 winner in the US. He has been conditioned in all his races to date by Marco Bottithe, the Newmarket-based Italian handler. Responsibility for the care of Gitano Hernando will not transfer to Brown's Dubai stables until after Saturday's race.
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"He's a very nice horse and depending on how he does in the big race we would be looking at Hong Kong or Singapore. I think Hong Kong may come too quickly so Singapore is more likely," Brown said.
"I haven't seen the horse at close quarters but I've watched him on the track and he looks well but he does look very fit. I don't think he could lose another ounce, so we will have to see how he comes out of the race."
Sweet Ducky, the runner-up in the Grade 3 Holy Bull Stakes for Kelly Breen, the American handler, in his last outing, was on the track yesterday morning for his new trainer.
Brown was planning to give his new charge some faster work over 800m this morning ahead of the UAE Derby, when he will take on the might of Mike de Kock's fancied trio, Reem, Mahbooba and Zanzamar.
"He's only been here a week and we don't know too much about him but he has settled well," said Brown. "He's eating and drinking up and has handled the journey very well for such a young horse."
Brown said he was being cautious in the colt's preparation. "He was fit anyway as he was being prepared for a race in the US, but I would rather undercook him and take a chance on Saturday than try and get him any fitter at this stage."
Tom Queally, the jockey who will partner Twice Over in the big race, is riding Sweet Ducky in both track work and the UAE Derby.
Brown's Bankable, who will have another tilt at the Dubai Duty Free, a race in which he finished second last season, is working well. Notoriously fragile, Bankable was worked on the treadmill yesterday morning and is due a final piece of work on the track on tomorrow.
"We are really happy with him," Brown said. "He is down to his racing weight and has been going very well indeed."