Despite the uncertainty of international travel and the difficulties associated with adapting to Australian racing, punters have taken a liking to Gatewood who will make his Australian debut in the 2012 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
The John Gosden-trained four-year-old opened at $5.00 for the Caulfield Cup qualifying event but is now $3.60 and a clear favourite at bookmaker.com.au.
The son of Galileo has only had seven career starts, recording four victories and two place finishes.
His worst career result is fourth and he was most recently seen running a close second in a Group 2 race in France.
Gosden said this morning that Gatewood has settled into Australian life well but admitted it was no certainty that he would hit the ground running on Saturday.
“It’s a learning curve travelling a horse that far but we’re happy with the profile we have so far but let’s be clear about it, it’s a big ask,” Gosden said.
The high profile British trainer confirmed the progressive stayer travelled well and so far has not faced any complications.
“The most important thing is he ate and he drank on the way,” Gosden said.
“The great thing about horses, unlike us, they don’t drink alcohol on a plane, he didn’t dehydrate too much.”
Also making his first Australian start in the Herbert Power Stakes is Shahwardi, a French gelding who arrives on the back of consecutive placings in Group 2 events.
The Alain de Royer Dupre-trained six-year-old is being aimed at the Melbourne Cup, the race de Royer Dupre won with Americain in 2010.
A win in the Herbert Power Stakes ensures ballot exemption for next Saturday’s Caulfield Cup.
Markets are now up for the Herbert Power Stakes as well as the major spring features. To back an early winner at great odds, be sure to visit bookmaker.com.au.
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