John Gosden’s exciting British raider Gatewood continued the strong form of the internationals in the Geelong Cup winning the race thanks to some brilliant late sectionals, likely earning a start in the 2012 Melbourne Cup at Flemington next month.
Making up for a luckless seventh in their Australian debut when beaten five and a half lengths by the French-trained Shahwardi in the Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) at Caulfield on October 13 the five-year-old Galileo stallion had the run of the race in Wednesday’s $300,000 Group 3 Geelong Cup (2400m).
As predicted the 2012 Geelong Cup was run at a slow pace with the small seven-horse field led by $61 Back In Black, who would hold on to run fourth.
Three-time Melbourne Cup winning jockey Glen Boss, aboard Gatewood for the first time, had the eventual winner slotted in beautifully in second on the outside right up on the speed behind the average leader.
The field held their positions throughout the race right up until the home straight with French visitor Brigantin third on the rails, Peter Moody’s consistent mare Chateau Margaux fourth, Mick Kent’s import Tac De Boistron fifth, Exceptionally second last and 2010 Melbourne Cup runner-up Maluckyday last of all after an awkward jump from the gates.
They weren’t going hard and Gatewood was in the best spot, Boss getting the gun run and the big break at the end.
The Geelong Cup winner was always going to be the horse that could run the quickest final 600m down the home straight at Geelong and the knowledge and experience of Bossy paid off in that regard as he charged Gatewood home.
It was a sprint home in the cup with the runs starting to come at the top of the straight.
Racing a little wayward and cutting off a few of their rivals, most notably Brigantin, Gatewood ($3.20F) hit the front and was able to hold the lead running straight through the line to put three quarters of a length on their closest rivals.
They nearly dead-heated for second with Chateau Margaux ($10) just getting there ahead of Brigantin ($3.50).
“It wasn’t our thoughts, John (Gosden) and Glen had a good chat last night,” Terry Henderson from OTI Racing said in regards to race tactics for the Geelong Cup.
“They came up with that plan and it worked perfectly.”
Thanks to the outstanding ride of Boss there is sure to be a big move now in the betting markets for the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on Tuesday November 6.
Before their Geelong Cup win Gatewood was 40th on the Melbourne Cup order of entry and paying $21 in the Melbourne Cup odds at bookmaker.com.au.
With a penalty of about 1.5kg to come from Racing Victoria’s chief handicapper Greg Carpenter they will be assured a move up the ballot into the 24-starter Melbourne Cup field.
“I hope it’s more than a kilo penalty,” Henderson said.
While admitting it will be unusual for a European horse to have three runs in five weeks down under for their Melbourne Cup preparation they had to run them in the Geelong Cup to assure them of a start.
“It’s a little unusual,” Henderson said.
Adding to the form on Gatewood’s Geelong Cup success is that two other overseas-trained horses have completed the Geelong Cup – Melbourne Cup double for the past two years with Americain (2010) and Dunaden (2011).
It will however be hard to take the Geelong Cup result as a Melbourne Cup guide as it looked very much like trackwork for the runners.
What did standout though was the late speed of the winner, the final 600m completed in a scintillating 32.09 seconds, while the overall time run was a lethargic 2:34 – close to 10 seconds outside of Media Puzzle’s track record.
“The race worked out really well for the horse, he was in a good position, he (Boss) gave him a great ride,” Gosden’s travelling foreman Marcel Koren said after the win.
“We had to (run him) to get into the (Melbourne) Cup and now we are.
“We’ll do everything to get him fresh and happy again in this two weeks’ time.
“We’re very, very happy.
“Caulfield didn’t suit him so much, this course suited him better with a longer straight.
“Very much looking forward (to Flemington’s straight).”
Boss, who is yet to confirm a mount for this year’s Melbourne Cup, knew he was going very quick getting Gatewood home in the Geelong Cup and was impressed with the speed and spryness of the stayer.
“They were very, very quick to the line,” he said.
“He sprinted very quickly…he run through the line.
“These (European) horses have six month of ground work underneath them.
“This horse was straight on top of that speed.”
And as for the Melbourne Cup?
“He’s very good on his feet, he’s very nimble…that’s going to take him a long way,” Boss said.
“In a hustle bustle race you need a horse quick on his feet.
“He’s qualified (for the Melbourne Cup) now.
“He beat very good horses there so…
“I’m just taken by the splits, I know they went slow and it was set up for him…but that’s high flying…incredible…I knew I was going quick.”
To view the updated Melbourne Cup betting markets and to get behind Gatewood to become the third Geelong Cup winner in as many years to continue on and win the Melbourne Cup, head to bookmaker.com.au and sign-up with Australia’s favourite bookie.
2012 Geelong Cup Results & Finishing Order
Geelong Race 7 – 24/10/2012
|1||4||GATEWOOD (GB)||John Gosden||Glen Boss||–||7||55.5kg||$3.20F|
|2||6||CHATEAU MARGAUX||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||0.75L||2||54kg||$10|
|3||3||BRIGANTIN (USA)||Andre Fabre||Umberto Rispoli||0.85L||1||57.5kg||$3.50|
|4||7||BACK IN BLACK (NZ)||John Steffert||Craig Newitt||1.85L||4||54kg||$61|
|5||1||MALUCKYDAY (NZ)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Jim Cassidy||3.1L||3||58.5kg||$7|
|6||2||TAC DE BOISTRON (FR)||Michael Kent||Corey Brown||7.6L||5||58.5kg||$11|
|7||5||EXCEPTIONALLY (NZ)||Terry & Karina O’Sullivan||Dean Yendall||7.7L||6||54kg||$6.50|