Lightly raced stayer Gatewood (5h Galileo x Felicity, by Selkirk) arrived in Australia with a big reputation, but an unlucky seventh in the Group II MRC Herbert Power Stakes had punters asking questions that were answered in emphatic style at Geelong on Wednesday.
In a very slowly run race, the John Gosden trained Gatewood was ridden positively by Glen Boss to stalk the leader Back in Black and when the tempo quickened over the last three furlongs the five year-old son of Galileo was well placed to sprint.
And sprint he did.
Dashing home his last 600 metres some 32.08 seconds to score an impressive win in the 2400 metre Group III Geelong Cup, Gatewood did enough to earn a penalty and a possible place in the Melbourne Cup field.
Gatewood is part-owned by OTI Racing, who won this race with Bauer (IRE) in 2008 before finishing an agonizingly close second in the Melbourne Cup to Viewed.
“He was unlucky in the Herbert Power, so we had to run again,” explained Terry Henderson of OTI Racing.
“It’s unusual that a European horse would run three times in five weeks, but it’s looking like it’s going to happen.”
Glen Boss was delighted with the performance of Gatewood, who has just 51.5 kg in the Melbourne Cup.
“The last 600 was very quick and quick through the line,” Boss said.
“You need a horse that’s quick on its feet and nimble for our hustle bustle racing and he;s showed that today.”
Already a stakes-winner, having won a Listed race at Royal Ascot earlier in the year, Gatewood has the overall record of five wins and three placings from 10 starts
He is one of two winners from Group III winning Selkirk mare Felicity and carries an interesting 2 x 3 double cross of champion sire Sadler’s Wells.