Deauville win opens Gate to Melbourne

Gatewood continued his resurgence for trainer John Gosden and earmarked himself an Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) possible with victory at Deauville overnight (AET).

Even with the ground riding very testing, the six-year-old saw off his four rivals with consummate ease to land the Group 3 OSAF Prix de Reux over 2500 metres.

Having spent his formative years with Gosden, when amongst other things a Royal Ascot winner, the son of Galileo travelled down to Australia during 2012 when he landed that year’s Group 3 Geelong Cup (2400m).

Gatewood failed to make the cut for the main event at Flemington on that occasion and after several other runs in the Southern Hemisphere he rejoined Gosden from Chris Waller last summer.

After four back-end outings on both turf and all-weather, he was rested though the winter months and has really regained top form since resuming.

A second-place finish at Doncaster was followed by a defeat of subsequent Glorious Goodwood winner and fellow Melbourne Spring Carnival hopeful Pether’s Moon. A win at Goodwood was to follow and last time out he rowed in behind subsequent Group Two winner Sheikhzayedroad.

That brought Gatewood on to Deauville where he scored by two lengths from Andre Fabre’s hat-trick seeking favourite Rio Tigre.

Jockey William Buick was never worse than second on Gatewood and only had to provide minimal assistance from the saddle to allow his willing partner to land his third race of the campaign.

Gosden was absent – as were many British trainers during the afternoon – due to freak storm weather which had grounded UK light aircraft.

However, Buick said: “He got a lead early which helped him and he has seen the race out well.

“He goes well in this ground but he certainly doesn’t need it. Good ground is fine for him but he can go in this softer ground better than others.

“I was always quite confident during the race and it is nice to see him win a Group race as he has always been knocking on the door.

“I think he will head to Melbourne now. He didn’t get in the Cup two years ago but hopefully he can this time around.”

While the Melbourne Cup could be the primary aim for Gatewood, the OTI Racing-owned stayer also holds nominations for the $3 million Caulfield Cup (2400m) and Sportingbet Cox Plate (2040m).

David Smaga’s Going Somewhere was not disgraced given the sloppy conditions staying from the rear of the field to finish a further length and three-quarters adrift in third.

Story by Martin Kelly