Western Australian galloper, Gatting, had a solid hitout at Pinjarra Park on Monday winning his trial impressively down the straight over 1000 metres.
Trainer Darren McAuliffe was happy with his performance and said it should set him up perfectly for his next run.
“We wanted the trial to be a solid and consistent speed the whole way, rather than a sit and sprint so that we got plenty of benefit from it,” McAuliffe said.
“He needed the trial, but all signs are that he’s come through it well and Mitchell Pateman was very happy with how he felt.”
The six-year-old gelding by Hard Spun, who is approaching $1.5m in prizemoney, has been nominated for the Cox Plate later on in the year but has a few other targets in site before that.
“His next run will ideally be in the Memsie Stakes, then we’d go to the Makybe Diva Stakes, the Underwood Stakes and then the Caulfield Stakes as I think they are really nice options for him,” McAuliffe said.
“We’re still fine tuning our set up in Melbourne, but if we can’t get it sorted out perfectly soon then we’ll head to the Listed Idyllic Prince at Belmont Park on the 31st of August and then head over for the Makybe Diva Stakes.”
Gatting showed last preparation that he’ll be more than competitive when coming to Melbourne, finishing second in the G1 Railway Stakes, fourth in the G1 Kingston Town and then second in the G2 Ted Van Heemst Stakes.
“We’ve always known his ability and class and it would be great to show it on the big stage in Melbourne,” McAuliffe said.
Having won over 1100 metres and all the way up to 2400 metres and having never finished worse than third on a soft or heavy track, Gatting should have the ideal conditions for him when arriving in Melbourne.
“His versatility has always been a strength of his, it’s nice having a horse that you know will respond and adapt to all of the variables you face with racing.”