03/07/2011 4:00PM

Dubai World Cup up first for Gio Ponti

Tom Keyser
Gio Ponti will make his first start of 2011 in the Dubai World Cup at Meydan.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Trainer Christophe Clement confirmed Sunday that his three-time Eclipse Award winner Gio Ponti would make his 2011 debut in the $10 million Dubai World Cup on March 26. Gio Ponti finished fourth in the 2011 World Cup.

Clement held off a final decision on Gio Ponti’s status for the World Cup after he canceled a scheduled prep for the two-time reigning turf champion in the Grade 3 Canadian at Gulfstream Park on Feb. 27. Clement said there was nothing wrong with Gio Ponti, he just felt his horse wasn’t quite ready to run at that time.

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“He worked well on Saturday, he’ll work back again this Saturday, and the plan is to go to the World Cup,” Clement said. “Twice Over looked pretty good winning the prep race the other night, and he’s a nice horse. I’ve run against him before. And he got a prep race for the World Cup. We did not.”

Gio Ponti will leave for Dubai next Tuesday.