Western Australian trainer Darren McAuliffe has called time on the Melbourne preparation of Group 1 winner Gatting and decided to head home rather than contest the $5m Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m).
Gatting was the talk of Melbourne when he caused the boil over of the spring by winning the G1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at $101 and beating the short-priced favourite Mystic Journey.
However, since then things haven’t run as smoothly as McAuliffe would’ve liked and he’ll now head back to Western Australian and regroup for his home carnival.
“When you’re racing against the best in the country everything has to be 100 per cent right or you’re just wasting your time,” McAuliffe said.
“We’ll take Gatting home now, regroup and aim towards our carnival where there are a few suitable options for him.”
McAuliffe said his success in Melbourne still hasn’t really sunk in, but he was proud of his horse and the team effort.
“It still doesn’t really feel like I won a Group 1, so much happened before and after the race and then it’s just business as usual the day after,” McAuliffe said.
“Even though it hasn’t sunk in, I’m very grateful that we have such a tough horse with a big heart.
"I’m proud of my team back home in Perth and I’m glad the connections got to enjoy the success of winning a Group 1.”
Gatting was a $26 chance with BetEasy to win the Cox Plate. He will fly home alongside stablemate Rebel King who will head towards the G1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) at Ascot on November 30.
Gatting and Jamie Kah, picture Qunentinjlang.com