John Gosden’s European raider Gatewood isn’t going away just yet and while their Geelong Cup victory wasn’t enough to see them sneak into the Melbourne Cup 2012 starting line-up they will try again at Flemington Racecourse this Victoria Derby Day.
The smart Galileo stallion improved leaps and bounds on their first-up seventh to French galloper Shahwardi, also still not assured of a start sitting 29th on the order of entry, in the Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) to win the Group 3 Geelong Cup (2400m) last week.
While they did receive a 1kg penalty for the Geelong Cup victory it wasn’t enough for Gatewood to make the capacity 24-horse Melbourne Cup field just yet, the horse now 33rd on the order of entry with 52.5kg following Monday’s second acceptances.
Connections will now give the five-year-old another chance at making it to the ‘race that stops a nation’ with Gatewood to back up in either the $1 million Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) or the $200,000 Group 3 Lexus Stakes (2500m) this Saturday – both races offering a Melbourne Cup ballot exemption to the winner.
While the Lexus Stakes is usually the preferred choice for Melbourne Cup hopes as it is run over a more suitable 2500m than the 2000m of the Mackinnon, Gatewood’s part-owner Terry Henderson from OTI said that the latter was a more attractive option future-wise as a Group 1 win would make the horse a much more valuable stallion prospect.
“We have to weigh up whether the potential increase of Gatewood’s value as a stallion makes it worth running in the Mackinnon,” Henderson said.
“If we think it isn’t the best option for his Melbourne Cup chances then we will run in the Lexus.
“Backing him up shouldn’t be an issue as he has just come through the run at Geelong so well.”
In the latest Melbourne Cup odds at the online bookies Gatewood is rated a $26 chance, markets led by the past two winners Americian (2010) and Dunaden (2011).
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