William Buick will ride Gatewood in the Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) Tuesday afternoon at Flemington, and the jockey is confident the seven-year-old can finish in the first six.
Buick rode the entire in trackwork on Sunday morning at Werribee, noting he was pleased with the feel he gave him.
While he is in devastating form in Europe, Gatewood hasn’t been tested in Australia since April 2013 when he finished second last in the Group 1 The BMW (2400m). The entire hasn’t finished outside the first three from his 10 starts since then, but it’s unknown how he’ll go at Flemington.
A winner of the Group 2 Grand Prix de Deauville Lucien Barriere (2500m) his last time out, Buick believes Gatewood can continue his perfect European form down under.
“He hasn’t been out of the first three since he came back to John’s (Gosden) care,” Buick told TVN.
“He’s a very tough racehorse. I do think he’s a huge price.
“I think he has what it takes to run a good race in the Melbourne Cup.”
Working against Gatewood however is the face he didn’t get a 2014 Melbourne Cup lead-in race in Australia this season. Of the five European-trained winners over the years, only one took out the Melbourne Cup without a previous run down under (Vintage Crop, 1993).
It would seem punters are taking note. Despite his 10 in a row top three runs, Gatewood is an outside chance in the Melbourne Cup betting, offering $71 at Ladbrokes.com.au.
Buick believes the wide draw (Gatewood will jump from gate 21) will work against the entire but gate 21 is actually one of the most successful Melbourne Cup barriers in the last 30 years with the last winner from the gate being Shocking in 2009.
“Obviously the draw is not a positive, but from a rider’s point of view I’m glad I’m not down on the inside.
“If we get a good trip, I’m hoping to be in the first half-dozen.”
He has an excellent Place Rate of 72% so Buick might not be far off the money in his assumption however Gatewood has yet to make the step up to two miles.
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