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Gatewood in late Cup bid

Fri, 02 November 2012

Gatewood will attempt to earn a last-gasp place in the Emirates Melbourne Cup field with an extra run at Flemington on Saturday - but connections have stressed he is not a guaranteed runner next Tuesday.

John Gosden's raider will have a guaranteed spot in the Cup if he wins this weekend's Lexus Stakes, but has already had a more arduous campaign in Australia than he would have been subjected to in Britain.

A winner of three handicaps in a row during early summer, including the Wolferton at Royal Ascot, Gatewood was bought into by the Australian OTI Racing syndicate with a view towards aiming for their treasured race.

He stayed on encouragingly to take seventh on his antipodean debut in the Herbert Power Stakes at Caulfield on October 13 and strolled off with the Geelong Cup 11 days later, but two more efforts in four days would mean four starts in just over three weeks.

OTI's Terry Henderson said: "He has to win on Saturday but we'll be looking at him even more closely with the Racing Victoria vets.

"The last thing we want to do is to subject him to something and risk losing him completely.

"If he comes out of the race and the other owner, George Strawbridge, is happy, and John Gosden is happy, then we will look at it."