Marwing takes over World Cup hopeful Gitano Hernando

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 30 December, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 30 December, 2010, 12:00am

Hong Kong-based Weichong Marwing has been snapped up for top Dubai World Cup contender Gitano Hernando two weeks out from the start of the international carnival at Meydan.

Marwing is to replace Kieren Fallon, the horse's regular rider in his last six outings, including his sixth to Gloria De Campeao in the World Cup of 2010.

The ownership structure behind Gitano Hernando, Team Valour, intends to run the Marco Botti-trained horse twice during the Dubai carnival in two legs of the Maktoum Challenge as his campaign towards the world's richest race in March.

Prior to last year's World Cup, Team Valour had Gitano Hernando prepared in England, arriving only for the main event after a lead-up win at Lingfield.

But the World Cup was fought out by horses who had campaigned on the Tapeta at Meydan throughout the international carnival - Gloria De Campeao, Lizard's Desire and Allybar - giving Team Valour pause to consider whether being based in Dubai may have been a better plan. Marwing had been a prolific winner in Dubai during his time riding for Mike De Kock, with his wins including two victories in the rich Dubai Duty Free on World Cup night.

The South African begins a careless riding suspension after the New Year's day fixture, but will resume on January 10 - three days before the Dubai carnival begins.