After missing out on a run in the world’s richest handicap two years ago a Melbourne Cup 2014 assignment has been all but confirmed for the OTI-owned raider Gatewood after their win in France over the weekend.
Sunday night saw the John Gosden-trained Galileo stallion post their eighth career win with a tidy two length effort over Rio Tigre in the Group 3 OSAF Prix de Reux (2500m) at Deauville.
It was an impressive victory over the Andrew Fabre-trained Rio Tigre who came off back-to-back wins especially on the tough going track and one that had their winning hoop talking the Spring Cups’ talk.
“He got a lead early which helped him and he has seen the race out well,” Buick said according to Racing Victoria.
“He goes well in this ground but he certainly doesn’t need it. Good ground is fine for him but he can go in this softer ground better than others.
“I was always quite confident during the race and it is nice to see him win a Group race as he has always been knocking on the door.
“I think he will head to Melbourne now. He didn’t get in the Cup two years ago but hopefully he can this time around.”
Despite that ideal lead-up for a Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival raid the six-year-old is still yet to be added to the futures markets at Ladbrokes.com.au for the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m).
The famous Flemington feature held on the first Tuesday of November is a race Gatewood was targeting back in 2012 when they were bought down under that October.
At their second start on Aussie soil they looked on track winning the Group 3 Geelong Cup (2400m).
They failed in the Lexus Stakes on Victoria Derby Day however and so missed out on a Melbourne Cup bid.
A stint with Chris Waller in Sydney the following autumn produced no luck with four unplaced runs leading their Australian connections to send them back to Gosden in Europe where their form quickly improved.
This year Gatewood has been on fire running first or second in all five of their runs including their Group 3 win in France on Sunday evening where William Buick rode them to victory.
Their two other 2014 wins were both at stakes’ level including a half length success in a Listed Ascot showdown over 2414m where they defeated Pether’s Moon.
The form of that race has held too with runner-up Pether’s Moon going on to finish third in two Group 2 features before their win in the Group 3 Glorious Stakes (2414m) at the start of the month to also be considered for a trip to Victoria this spring.
Last week when Racing Victoria took their early spring nominations Gatewood was officially entered for both the $3 million Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 18 and the weight-for-age $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) the next weekend at Moonee Valley.
In Caulfield Cup betting they pay $67 and Ladbrokes.com.au have them at the same price in their Cox Plate odds.
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