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Gun Pit racing for answers in G1 Al Maktoum Challenge


Gun Pit is ready to roll in Saturday’s main feature at Meydan Racecourse, the G1 Al Maktoum Challenge Round 3 (2000m), in which the Caspar Fownes-trained five-year-old will attempt to secure a berth in the world’s richest race, the G1 Dubai World Cup (2000m) on 26 March.

Gun Pit already holds an entry in the G2 Godolphin Mile at the World Cup fixture, so Fownes is looking for a positive run from the Dubawi gelding tomorrow; some confirmation that his Sha Tin dirt track specialist has what it takes to mix with top-class opposition around a mile and a quarter of Meydan’s dirt course.

“For us, it’s going to be a case of riding him quiet, ride him where he’s comfy and don’t go against his rhythm,” said Fownes, who has booked Brazilian ace Joao Moreira to ride.

“We just want to see how he handles the surface and hope he can give us a nice race, that’s what we’re looking at. There are no big expectations, we just want him to run a race and show us that he’s competitive, that’s it.

“Joao’s riding him first time so we want him to get a feel of him and find where he’s comfortable and ride him accordingly. We won’t go in there with any game plan – we’ll leave it to Joao to let him feel his way.”

Gun Pit is seven from seven around Sha Tin’s all-weather circuit, a surface akin to a California dirt track, but has never won beyond 1650m. His one attempt over farther on dirt resulted in a last-place finish in the 1800m G1 Champions Cup at Chukyo, Japan, in December, when Gun Pit seemed unable to handle the deep surface.

Gun Pit cantered two laps of Meydan’s dirt track this morning and Fownes is pleased with the condition of his charge, who has drawn gate one in the 12-runner field.

“It looks like Keen Ice and Mubtaahij are the main ones everyone has to beat and we’ll find out tomorrow where we stand, but as far as Gun Pit’s preparation is concerned everything looks good, I’m happy with him,” said the trainer.

Gun Pit cruises to victory in a Class One dirt race over 1650m at Sha Tin earlier this season.
Photo 1:
Gun Pit cruises to victory in a Class One dirt race over 1650m at Sha Tin earlier this season.


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