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Gatewood settles into new surroundings
Caryl Williamson
15:03 AEST Mon Jan 7 2013

Autumn options remain open for English horse Gatewood who has adapted well to his new surroundings at Chris Waller's Sydney stable.

The Geelong Cup winner has been in Australia since the spring, attracting as much attention for failing to make the Melbourne Cup field as for his Geelong Cup win.

That victory didn't earn him enough of a penalty to get into the big race and his last-ditch attempt to qualify via the Lexus was foiled by the Waller-trained Kelinni who went on to run fourth in the Cup.

Whether or not Gatewood gets another chance at the Melbourne Cup is a decision for later with Waller keen to assess his weight-for-age prospects.

"He has settled in really well at Rosehill over the past couple of weeks and is becoming familiar with his surroundings," Waller said.

"From what I've seen he is in between a handicapper and a weight-for-age horse and we need to be careful where we place him because we want to get his confidence up.

"We will target the decent races with him and will also be mindful of preserving his value because he is still an entire."

Formerly trained by John Gosden in England, the five-year-old is owned by a syndicate which includes OTI Racing and Queensland's Glenlogan Park Stud.

Gatewood's four wins in England include the Listed Wolferton Handicap (2012m) at last year's Royal Ascot meeting.

Although he won over the 2400 metres of the Geelong Cup, Waller said he was keen to try him over races from 1600 to 2000m.

While the path for Gatewood is not yet certain, thing are more clear-cut with the popular Shoot Out to defend his Chipping Norton Stakes title.

In eight starts over two preparations for Waller since moving from Queensland, Shoot Out has won two Group One races - the Chipping Norton and the George Main Stakes first-up in the spring.

Last autumn he also ran third in the Ranvet Stakes and second to More Joyous in the Doncaster Mile.

Waller said six-year-old was more likely to go to the George Ryder (1500m) after the Chipping Norton rather than be stretched to the 2000 metres of the Ranvet.

His likely starting point is the Apollo Stakes (1400m) on February 23, two weeks before the Chipping Norton.


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