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Botti 'couldn't be happier' with $10m World Cup hope Hernando

Marco Botti is looking forward to heading for sunnier climes with his Dubai World Cup hope Gitano Hernando.

The Team Valor-owned colt caused a major surprise when winning the Grade One Goodwood Stakes at Santa Anita last October, having used a conditions race at Wolverhampton as a warm up.

Kieren Fallon was on board for both of those successes and Botti is hopeful the former champion jockey will be in the saddle on the big day on March 27, when $10million will be up for grabs at the new Meydan racecourse.

"Everything is fine with Gitano Hernando, the plan is to go for the Dubai World Cup," said Botti. "I try not to think about how much money the race is worth! It will be fantastic to be there though.

"We couldn't be happier with him at the moment but it is still another couple of months away yet. He did well in America.

"He progressed all the time last year from being a handicapper, to running well at Chester (Dee Stakes) but then he unfortunately had a setback.


"We gave him the summer off but he came back and won well at Wolverhampton and he reached the peak of his form in America. Winning that race was a good effort.

"Before it we thought it was quite competitive, a good Grade One, but he did it well.

"Kieren really likes the horse and is keen to ride him but it just depends whether Mr (Luca) Cumani has a runner in the race."

The four-year-old forms part of a four-strong team Botti will take to the Middle East, with recent recruits Soneva and Drogba accompanying sprinter Ceremonial Jade.

"Soneva is a French filly we have got, she's quite good and won a Group Three in France and she should run in the Cape Verdi, a Group Three on February 4," added Botti. "Drogba might run next week in a conditions race at Wolverhampton before.

"Ceremonial Jade will run at Lingfield tomorrow to set him up for Dubai."