Terry Henderson has Gatewood on top of his 2014 Melbourne Cup tips and the leading owner believes that imported stayer is the best of his four chances in the Group 1 event at Flemington on Tuesday.
OTI Racing has qualified four horses for the Melbourne Cup field and Gatewood will be joined in the race by the Peter Moody-trained duo of Lidari and Brambles as well as Moonee Valley Gold Cup placegetter Au Revoir.
Gatewood will be returning to Australian racing for the first time since he finished 11th behind Fiveandahalfstar in the 2013 edition of the Group 1 The BMW (2400m) at Rosehill Gardens, but Henderson said at the Melbourne Cup barrier draw yesterday that he feels Gatewood is his best chance of winning ‘the race that stops a nation’ for the first time since Doriemus was successful in the 1995 edition of the race.
“He has had a terrific season,” Henderson said.
“His last nine runs he has run first or second in good company and he is probably the best of our four.
“He has done everything right and he is an honest horse.”
OTI Racing did not fare particularly well at the Melbourne Cup barrier draw yesterday and Gatewood will jump from barrier 22 alongside Brambles (barrier 21) and Au Revoir (barrier 23).
Henderson admits that Gatewood will need some luck in running to get across from that wide gate, but he remains confident that the Galileo entire can play a factor in the finish of the 2014 Melbourne Cup on Tuesday.
“If he can get across and get cover and sort of be around midfield then he will make his presence felt,” Henderson said.
“He is probably going to have to follow Brambles across and duck in somewhere.”
Gatewood returned to Europe after his failed 2013 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival campaign under the care of Chris Waller and he is yet to miss the placings in his ten race starts in the Northern Hemisphere over the past 14 months.
The six-year-old was placed in the Group 3 Cumberland Lodge Stakes (2414m), Listed Floodlit Stakes (2414m) and Listed Quebec Stakes (2011m) in 2013 before he returned to winning form in the Listed Buckhounds Stakes (2414m) at Royal Ascot in May this year.
Gatewood made it two wins on the trot when he saluted in the Listed Fred Archer Stakes (2414m) at Newmarket on June 28 and he scored arguably the biggest win of his racing career to date in the Group 3 Prix De Reux (2500m) at Deauville in France on August 10.
The 2012 Geelong Cup winner is currently available at 2014 Melbourne Cup odds of $67, while Brambles has been the best backed of the four OTI-owned runners and he is available at a quote of $41.