A crucial barrier trial next week will finalise Breeders’ Cup plans for Gun Pit after trainer Caspar Fownes was thrilled with his work on Friday morning and declared the trip to California next month is happening.
“Gun Pit has had a few little setbacks in his preparation with internal bleeding but he seems right now. His gallop this morning was really good and he has scoped clean after it,” Fownes said.
“He’ll have a solid hit out in his trial next week and, if he trials like we know he can, then the trip is on.”
Fownes is targeting the Las Vegas Dirt Mile on Friday, November 4, arguably the undercard to the biggest events on the Saturday but still a US$1 million race, and has spoken to Breeders’ Cup organisers to ensure Gun Pit will be guaranteed a start if he turns up.
“They have a limit of 12 runners in the race and they don’t take entries until about ten days before but I’ve been assured that Gun Pit is in the race,” Fownes said.
“His rating is high enough after his Group One second in Dubai and they have a preliminary idea of who wants to run out of the American horses. They’ve said there won’t be any problem.”
Fownes said Zac Purton will ride Gun Pit in the trial and has the first refusal of the ride in Los Angeles too.
“I spoke to him about it this morning and he isn’t 100 per cent sure at the moment because he might have a ride in Melbourne that weekend but I reckon if the horse trials big next week for him Zac will jump at the chance to ride at a Breeders’ Cup,” Fownes said.
“I’m not too concerned either way. If Zac doesn’t want the ride, I’ll ask Joao Moreira, who rode him in Dubai. In any case, there will be so many good visiting jockeys at Santa Anita I’m sure I’ll be able to get Ryan Moore or Frankie Dettori or someone of that level.”