Ground key to Gitano Champion raid

Ground key to Gitano Champion raid

Gitano Hernando will take his chance in the Emirates Airline Champion Stakes at Newmarket on Saturday week – providing conditions are in his favour.

The four-year-old chestnut has spent much of the season on the sidelines, having suffered an injury in the summer, but made a winning return in the Group Three Diamond Stakes at Dundalk last week.

Trainer Marco Botti is now keen to head to Headquarters on October 16, although a possible trip to the Breeders’ Cup is also not being ruled out.

“He’s in good form and I am very happy with his condition. He is very well and fresh, so we’re really pleased,” said the Italian handler.

“It was a good performance from him. Obviously we left plenty in the tank and he wasn’t 100% fit, so we expect him to come on a lot from that.

“He won by a neck but we thought it was quite comfortable.

“The plan is to run him in the Champion Stakes but we will consider the ground closer to the time, as we wouldn’t like to run him on heavy ground.

“The ground is going to be key and if it is not right for the horse, then we will think about the Breeders’ Cup.

“Whether he goes for the mile-and-a-half race (Breeders’ Cup Turf) or the Classic, would be decided nearer the time.

“We need to see what happens with the ground next week first.”

Asked about the possibility of running in the Champion Stakes and at the Breeders’ Cup, Botti added: “He’s a fresh horse and we gave him a long break, so we’ll see.

“We’ll keep all the options open.”

More in this Section

Next year don't come but today hasNext year don't come but today has

Enright getting into full strideEnright getting into full stride

Limerick can apply for First DivisionLimerick can apply for First Division

Dip in fortunes left Duffy re-thinking his future Dip in fortunes left Duffy re-thinking his future


Lifestyle

Bryan Stevenson is the American civil rights lawyer who provided the inspiration for the newly-released film Just Mercy. Esther McCarthy spoke to him in IrelandReal-life lawyer Bryan Stevenson on inspiring Just Mercy

So I’ve booked my holidays. And before you ask, yes, I’m basing it around food and wine. I’ll report back in July, but I thought readers might be interested in my plan should you be thinking about a similar holiday.Wines to pick up on a trip to France

Esther N McCarthy is on a roll for the new year with sustainable solutions, cool citruses and vintage vibes.Wish List: Sustainable solutions, cool citruses and vintage vibes

They have absolutely nothing really to do with Jerusalem or indeed with any type of artichoke, so what exactly are these curious little tubers?Currabinny Cooks: Exploring the versatility of Jerusalem artichokes

More From The Irish Examiner