The Group 1 HK$15m Longines Hong Kong Vase (1 mile 4 furlongs) at Sha Tin on December 9 could be a on the cards for Gatewood if the international stayer fails to make the final field in this year’s Melbourne Cup.
Gatewood is still well outside the final twenty-four horse limit of the Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on November 6 even after receiving a 1kg penalty for winning the Group 3 $300,000 Centrebet Geelong Cup (2400m) at Geelong yesterday.
The John Gosden trained five year old moved from forty-first in the order of entry to thirty-six after being penalised for the Geelong Cup win but will still have trouble making the final field.
Managing owner Terry Henderson from OTI Racing would discuss options with Gosden with the Vase at Hong Kong very much in his thoughts.
“It’s disappointing but it’s just one of those things that you can’t do anything about,” Henderson said.
“I’ll send him an email with the options, because he wouldn’t know what they are, but I’d say we’re a good chance to go to Hong Kong for the big money if he doesn’t make the Cup field,” Henderson said.
Henderson said that Melbourne racegoers could still get a chance to see the English stayer again this Spring in the Group 3 $250,000 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2600m) at Flemington on the final day of the Melbourne Cup carnival if he doesn’t run at Flemington on Cup day.
The Queen Elizabeth also carries a $100,000 bonus to the winner if it failed to gain a start in the Melbourne Cup earlier in the week.
Another option would be to run in the Group 1 $1m Longines Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on Derby Day but Henderson couldn’t see Gatewood backing up on the Tuesday in the Cup.
“He’s such a brilliant horse we may go to the Mackinnon, which would rule him out of the Cup anyway. I’ve got to talk to John Gosden and get his thoughts on the horse. He’s still very young and we have a lot of upside with him for years to come.” Henderson said.
Racing Victoria General Manager – Racing, Greg Carpenter could only find a 1kg penalty for Gatewood pushing him to 52.5kg while connections were hoping for an extra half a kilo to ensure a spot in the twenty-four horse field.
“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 1kg 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 33.02sec and Chateau Margaux, Brigantin and Maluckyday all running their last 600m in less than 33secs.
“Gatewood had 2kg less than Brigantin yesterday and with the penalty issued he now has 0.5kg less than him in the Melbourne Cup representing a turnaround of 1.5kg for a margin of 0.85 of a length.”
Henderson was hoping that Gatewood would join previous international Geelong Cup winners Dunaden, Americain and Media Puzzle in winning the Melbourne Cup at their next start while Bauer won at Geelong in 2008 before going down by the narrowest of margins to Viewed in the Melbourne Cup.
Gatewood has eased to $14 for the Melbourne Cup with Dunaden the favourite at $6.50 to make it back to back Cup wins with Americain the second pick at $8.50.
International stayers dominate the rest of the market with the Luca Cumani trained Mount Athos at $9.50 with Brigantin and Red Cadeaux sharing the next line of betting at $11 with the first Australian trained horse Green Moon.