Connections of exciting stayer Gatewood believe their double figure price as one of the outsiders in this Saturday’s Chipping Norton Stakes 2013in Sydney is generous to say the least and that the English import can give the favourites a run for their money in the autumn showdown.
The showcase race in Sydney this weekend, the $350,000 Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) features a final field of 14 hopefuls, nearly half of which are prepared by Chris Waller who has won the past two editions of the race.
Waller’s contingent this year is led by these two former winners with the defending champ Shoot Out topping the Chipping Norton Stakes odds at $5 followed by evergreen veteran Danleigh ($12).
One of the longest-priced of Waller’s hopefuls is then Gatewood who can be found further down the markets at $31.
The former John Gosden-trained Galileo stallion was the eye-catching winner of the Geelong Cup over the mile and a half at just their second run down under during the spring, but the five-year-old missed out on their Melbourne Cup assignment failing to make the field when a next-up sixth in the Lexus Stakes on Victoria Derby Day.
Joining Waller’s Sydney operation late last year the horse resumed on February 23 at Warwick Farm to run sixth behind a field brimming full of Chipping Norton Stakes hopefuls including the upset winner Alma’s Fury in the Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m).
The form of the Apollo Stakes, via which other Saturday contenders including the fellow Waller-trained Tougher Than Ever (2nd) and Danleigh (3rd) come through, is hard to line-up however as the race was run in the mud in the pouring rain.
Unplaced runners including Gatewood then have plenty of room for improvement in the Chipping Norton and this is exactly what Waller is banking on.
“Gatewood has a lot of class, we didn’t see it last start on the wet track, but he’ll take benefit from that run, and if he can hold his position midfield, he could be fighting out the finish,” the trainer said.
OTI’s Terry Henderson agrees with Waller’s assessment and also rates Gatewood as a genuine chance way over the Chipping Norton Stakes odds especially considering they are undefeated second-up.
Henderson is also represented in the Chipping Norton this year by the $5.50 second pick Manighar, prepared by Peter Moody.
Despite the short price on Manighar and their three Group 1 wins achieved last autumn, it is Gatewood Henderson is rating as the better of the duo in this race.
“Gatewood is the sleeper,” Henderson said.
“He is probably a better bet than Manighar.”
Henderson also gained confidence earlier in the week when Gatewood put in a solid piece of work.
“His work on Tuesday, Chris described as his best since he’s been with him,” he said.
“I’m getting good vibes. Chris is in the situation where he’s got six horses in the race so it’s hard for him to make judgments between his horses.
“But I wouldn’t be surprised to see Gatewood run into the money.”
Still, Henderson isn’t ruling Manighar out completely when the champ resumes racing having recovered from a knee injury that ruled them out of the spring majors.
“It’s hard to say if he will come up first time like he did last time,” Henderson said speaking of the Linamix gelding’s first-up win in the Carlyon Cup last autumn.
“Last time it was a mile race at set weights and penalties and this time he is straight into a Group One at weight-for-age.
“He is extremely well and his work has been just as good but there is nothing like match fitness.
“The sort of run he gets from that draw (14) on Saturday will probably tell the tale.”
Both Gatewood and Manighar are set to back up in the $400,000 Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) on March 23.
Whether you’re sticking with the favourites or tipping an upset Chipping Norton Stakes upset to come from a horse like Gatewood the weekend’s best horse racing odds can be found online at bookmaker.com.au – home of the famous $400 bonus welcome bet offer!