English stayer Gatewood gets his chance to show Australian racegoers his true quality when he lines up in the Group 3 $300,000 Centrebet Geelong Cup (2400m) at Geelong on Wednesday.
The John Gosden trained Gatewood was sent out the $4 favourite at his first Australian start in the Group 2 $220,000 Sportingbet Herbert Power (2400m) at Caulfield on October 13 but after racing midfield jockey Corey Brown was unable to find any clear running and the five year old went to the line virtually untouched to finished seventh to French stayer Shahwardi.
“It was really only a track gallop for him,” part owner Terry Henderson said.
“He never got a run at them, he was never tested.”
Henderson says that Gatewood will get his chance at Geelong in the small field of seven to try to force a spot in the final field of Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on November 6.
Gatewood is currently number forty-one in order of entry for the Melbourne Cup and needs to win and earn a penalty to help push him up the order and Henderson is also sweating on the prospects of those above him.
“He really does need to win,” Henderson said.
“I think he is forty-first in the order of entry so he needs to get up a few more places.”
“There are ten definitely out plus another four I can see coming out. That still only brings him to twenty-seven with the possibility of more to come up.”
Top jockey Glen Boss takes over in the Geelong Cup and should have no trouble securing a clear run in the small field.
“It’s like a European race really,” Henderson said.
“He can be ridden forward and he can come from the back.”
“He has got a very good turn of foot so it will be interesting to see how Glen and John Gosden work out the tactics.”
Gatewood is sharing Geelong Cup favouritism with another International raider Brigantin who is making his Australian debut after finishing second to Josuha Tree in the Group 2 €130,000 Darley Prix Kergorlay (1mile, 7 furlongs) at Deauville, France on August 19.
French stayer Brigantin also needs to win to ensure a start on the first Tuesday in November but is in a better position than Gatewood at number thirty on the Melbourne Cup order of entry list.
Champion Italian jockey Umberto Rispoli will be the new jockey on Brigantin at Geelong replacing regular rider Frenchman Pierre-Cahrles Boudot.
Rispoli rose to prominence in his home country with premiership titles in 2009 and 2010 and travelling foreman Florian Bouvarel for French trainer Andre Fabre says the stable has full confidence in the young jockey.
“Monsieur Fabre, he doesn’t put on the bad jockey,” Bouvarel said.
Brigantin is well in contention in Melbourne Cup betting and is on the fourth line of betting with Green Moon at $10 while Gatewood is further down the list at $26.
Caulfield Cup winner Dunaden holds his spot at the top of betting at $6 after receiving a 1kg penalty for his win on Saturday with Mount Athos at $8.50 just in front of Americain at $9.