International stayer Gatewood has received a one kilogram penalty for his Geelong Cup win meaning he will need to rely on a large attrition rate to gain a start in this year’s Melbourne Cup.
The penalty takes his Melbourne Cup weight to 52.5kg and elevates him from 41st to 36th in the order of entry.
Gatewood won yesterday’s Geelong Cup after outsprinting his rivals on the back of a slow tempo and Racing Victoria chief handicapper Greg Carpenter said the penalty was in line with the performance.
“Giving account to the merit of the performance, the quality of the race, the manner in which it was contested and also the relevant weights of yesterday’s opposition, I have penalised Gatewood one kilogram to 52.5kg in the Emirates Melbourne Cup for his win in the Centrebet Geelong Cup,” Carpenter said.
“The Geelong Cup was run at a very slow tempo, with the first 1800m of the race covered in approximately two minutes.
“The race eventuated into a sprint home with Gatewood running his last 600m in 33.02 seconds and Chateau Margaux, Brigantin and Maluckyday all running their last 600m in less than 33 seconds.”
A 1.5kg penalty would have all but guaranteed the OTI-owned five-year-old a start in the Melbourne Cup but Carpenter followed precedent in his assessment of Gatewood.
Only one horse in history has received a 1.5kg penalty for winning the Geelong Cup and that was Media Puzzle who broke the track record on his way to winning the 2002 Melbourne Cup.
Gatewood’s Geelong Cup jockey Glen Boss believes the entire will have no problems acquitting himself in Australia’s biggest race if he makes it to the start line.
“He’s very good on his feet this horse. He’s very nimble. That’s going to take him a long way because you need that type of horse in our hustle-bustle races,” Boss said following the win.
“He sprinted very quickly then there was a moment there where he just plateaued for about 100 metres.
“Then about 200 metres from the line he just got going again and ran through the line.”