McAuliffe Confirms Melbourne Campaign For Gatting


Trainer Darren McAuliffe has confirmed stable flag bearer Gatting will target an eastern states campaign.

McAuliffe said Gatting was spot on for his first interstate trip after he won a Pinjarra trial on Monday.

The million dollar stakes earner was unextended in comfortably winning over 1000m.

After finalising travel and stabling arrangements, McAuliffe said Gatting will launch his Melbourne spring campaign in Perth.

“He will race first-up in the Idyllic Prince Stakes before he goes across to Melbourne,” McAuliffe told The Races WA.

“It means he will miss the Memsie Stakes.

“In Melbourne he will race in the Makybe Diva Stakes, the Underwood Stakes and the Caulfield Stakes.

“He’s nominated for the Cox Plate, but he may not get there.”

Gatting has won 10 of 36 starts with five at black-type level.

He last raced in July and won the Group 3 Hyperion Stakes (1600m) in his winter campaign.

The 2017 WA Derby (2400m) champion will be joined over east by stable mate Rebel King.

“There are a heap of races for him,” McAuliffe said.

“The Bobby Lewis is something we could look at.”

The Idyllic Prince Stakes (1300m) is the feature Listed race at Belmont on August 31.

The Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) is run at Flemington on September 14, the Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on September 29 and the Caulfield Stakes (2000m) at the same track two weeks later.

The Bobby Lewis Quality, run over 1200m at Flemington, will be staged on September 14.

With McAuliffe preparing a raft of top horses in the build-up to the Ascot carnival, he confirmed jockey Renee Forrest would help supervise Gatting and Rebel King in Melbourne.

“It’s a great opportunity for Renee.” McAuliffe said.

“She can meet new people and I can’t do it all on my own.”

Meanwhile McAuliffe said talented four-year-old The Velvet King was back in work ahead of the Ascot carnival.

“He looks in top order,” McAuliffe said.

“He can come back for the Birthday Stakes (1200m) in October before going down the Railway Stakes-Kingston Town Classic path.

McAuliffe concedes Tramontane was disappointing at Belmont last Saturday, but believes there were genuine excuses.

The son of Universal Ruler impressed in a Pinjarra maiden win, but couldn’t back up and ran sixth of eighth.

“He’s a big horse with a history of soft feet issues,” McAuliffe said.

“It was disappointing, but he might need a spell.”

Julio Santarelli




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