Caspar Fownes confirmed that Saturday's Group Three Centenary Vase could be Gun Pit's last on home soil and that the dirt specialist will be for sale when he starts a two-run campaign in Dubai next month.
Gun Pit has run out of dirt options at Sha Tin and will lump top weight of 133 pounds on a turf surface he will be given little chance on, before embarking on a trip to Meydan and a dirt track that Hong Kong-trained runners have found favourable.
“Sadly, there is nothing left for him on the domestic programme and there is a chance that this could be his last run here,” Fownes said.
“It's a pity, but we have had to look elsewhere and we hope he handles the track over there. Let's see how he goes, but if there are interested parties that want to look at buying him, I'm sure the owners will take a serious look at it.”
"We do have options later in the year, the new US$1 million race in Korea in September is an option, but he'd get more opportunities elsewhere."
Providing Gun Pit comes through Sunday's 1,800m run unscathed, his first stop will be Super Saturday on March 5 and a run in either the Group Three Burj Nahaar over 1,600m or the Group One Al Maktoum Challenge over 2,000m, although Fownes said he is still awaiting an official invite.
“The plan is to give him that lead-up run and then we go to World Cup night three weeks later - either in the Dubai World Cup itself, or the Group Two Godolphin Mile – it's worth US$1 million so that isn't a bad option for him, either.”
Fellow dirt specialist Rich Tapestry arrived in Dubai on Tuesday ahead of a start in next Thursday's Group Three Al Shindagha Sprint (1,200m) and has settled in well, according to trainer Michael Chang Chun-wai.
“He is perfect, and has already been out for a trot and a look around,” he said.
Fownes had considered a similar three-run campaign for Gun Pit but said the scheduling wasn't as suitable for his five-year-old.
“It didn't quite work," Fownes said. "There were races for him but not at Meydan, and we would prefer to stay there, and we would also prefer to take him over closer to full fitness. This race will have him closer to the mark fitness-wise."
Gun Pit, unbeaten in seven starts on Sha Tin's all-weather track, last raced in Japan in December, the son of Dubawi failing to handle a deep, sandy surface and finishing well-beaten after a tough ru in the Group One Champions Cup at Chukyo.
“We are more confident he will handle Meydan,” Fownes said. “It is encouraging that most of the horses, if not all of them, that have raced well on the all-weather track here raced well there last year.”
The Jockey Club have sought to alleviate a possible jockey shortage at the upcoming Chinese New Year meeting by booking visiting jockeys Corey Brown, Michael Rodd and Glyn Schofield to ride at Wednesday's 11-race fixture.