herald

Tuesday 12 December 2017

Ascot tilt on Gitano agenda Deegan sure Lady will stay

Marco Botti has his sights set on some of Europe's top middle-distance events for Gitano Hernando after he finished an unlucky sixth in Saturday's Dubai World Cup at Meydan.

The four-year-old was sent off favourite for the world's richest race after an impressive warm-up success at Lingfield, but traffic problems effectively ended any chance he had of winning.

He stayed on strongly to go down by just over two lengths, and trips to Royal Ascot and even a tilt at the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe could now be on his agenda.

"He was a bit unlucky in the race as unfortunately his low draw turned out to be a disadvantage," said Botti.

"It's disappointing, but at least he proved he is capable of competing at the top level.

"We have a few options for him now with races like the Prince Of Wales's Stakes, the Juddmonte International and the Eclipse Stakes to look at in the summer.

"The Arc is also something I mentioned to the owners but we need to sit down and make a plan. If we decide to go to Royal Ascot he will probably go straight there now as I want to freshen him up first."



Deegan sure Lady will stay

Paul Deegan is adamant Lady Springbank will stay a mile in the Irish 1000 Guineas following her smooth victory at Leopardstown on Sunday.

The filly booked her Classic ticket to the Curragh on May 23 with a comfortable success in the Group Three Leopardstown 1,000 Guineas Trial Stakes over seven furlongs.

"She's eaten up, she's grand and is fresh and well," said the Curragh trainer. "The Irish 1000 Guineas is the plan now, definitely. That was the plan from last year and if she was ready she would run at Leopardstown first and if not we'd go straight to the Curragh. I'm sure she'll get the trip, that would not concern us.

"She's a big scopey filly and she'll get the mile, no problem. We always thought she'd be better as a three-year-old. She's improved; we're very happy with her."

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