Gatewood (GB) has claimed the $300,000 Group 3 Centrebet Geelong Cup (2400m) with connections hopeful the subsequent penalty he receives for the win will be enough to secure a start in the Melbourne Cup.
The John Gosden-trained galloper displayed no ill effects from a luckless Australian debut in the Herbert Power Stakes, relishing the run of the race at Geelong on Wednesday to claim the 2400m feature.
41st in the Melbourne Cup Order of Entry with 51.5kg, connections are hopeful Gatewood will receive a hefty penalty for the victory so their Galileo entire can take his spot in the Melbourne Cup.
“I hope it is more than a 1kg penalty,” OTI Racing’s Terry Henderson said.
“It is a little unusual for European horses to run three times in five weeks but it looks as though it might happen.”
Under the guidance of Glen Boss, Gatewood was able to sit outside of a muddling tempo set by Back In Black.
When the pace quickened turning for home Boss and Gatewood responded on their way to striking the front midway up the straight.
Holding off late challenges from the likes of Chateau Margaux and Brigantin, Gatewood scored a three quarter length win. A short half head separated Chateau Margaux and Brigantin in second and third respectively.
The muddling tempo resulted in a final 600m of 32.09, with Glen Boss returning to scale impressed with what Gatewood showed over the concluding stages.
“I broke 33 in the last 600m,” Boss said.
“He was quick to the line. He sprinted very quickly and then there was a moment there where he hit a plateau for a 100m and then about 200m from the line he just got going again.
“These horses have six months of groundwork underneath them. This horse was straight on top of the speed very quickly when it come on. He is very good on his feet, he is very nimble.
“In our hustle bustle race you need a horse who is quick on his feet and get you into a spot and get you out of a spot.
“He has beaten very good horses there.
“I am taken by the splits. I know they went slow and it was probably set up for him but he still had to break 33 to beat those horses and that is what he went and done.
“That is high flying.”
Carpenter will confirm the penalty Gatewood receives tomorrow.
Dunaden and Americain each received a half kilo penalty for their respective Geelong Cup wins.
Connections of Gatewood need at least a 1kg penalty to be any chance of the four-year-old securing a start in the Melbourne Cup.
Gatewood (GB) is Galileo (IRE) out of the Selkirk (USA) mare Felicity (IRE) and is owned by G Strawbridge, Glenlogan Park Stud, L Huddy, K Hunt, Uthmeyer Racing, J Higgins, Oti Racing (Mgrs S O'Donnell & T Henderson).