Looserein, you bring up interesting questions, and no one but the trainers/connections know for sure. My thoughts are in a race like the Geelong Cup there's three types of entries. Those trying to get into the Melbourne Cup, those already in but wanting to get tested, and those looking to see how they measure up for future staying success.
With each instance a trainer could make a good case for paying the entry fee, or seeking an alternative that better suits.
I wouldn't condone paying a large entry fee for a race you can't win. Plenty do it for the cups though. But the name of the game is to get to those races, isn't it? Whether that means finding better stock, bigger owners, better trainers or training methods, finding a better path to the big races, I don't know. But that is the challenge.
Today's small field might be for the reasons you state Looserein. Small fields in higher level staying races isn't unusual for Australia either.
Thank Scott and Go_Man. I was just disappointed to see such a small field. It's exciting to see a horse come down the outside on a big track such as Geelong in a large field. With the French horses strangehold on a lot of our staying races in past 2 racing seasons, hopefully the small field doesn't turn it into a track gallop for one of the internationals. My tip Gatewood. Being a trublu Aussie it would be great to see one of our stayers put a challenge to these horses.
It's especially bad for something like the Geelong Cup as you'll find that a lot of people at the races today aren't really racing fans or punters so they'll have their each way bets with no idea that they won't collect if their horse runs third.
M13, I believe the Geelong Cup penalty for Gatewood was announced at 1pm today, can anyone confirm?
While I'm not keen on Gatewood's run, I went back and watched video of Americain and Dunaden in their Geelong Cup victories. Each of them scraped home. I'm not a fan of Gatewood, but found the comparison's interesting..
Good though Gatewood's run was in the Geelong Cup , it has done nothing to convince me that he will be able to run a strong 3200 in the Melbourne Cup anyway , especially if there is a decent pace on up front . I much prefer him to stick to races around the 2400 / 2500 mark in my opinion.
It shouldn't really come as a surprise Fantana , after all Media Puzzle ran a terrific race and broke the course record i believe in winning the Geelong Cup and he copped 1.5 kg , Gatewood's run was hardly in the same league as that , although addmittedly the Geelong Cup field this year was classier albeit with fewer runners .
Exactly Formulator, Dunaden got a kilo and Americain only got half so 1.5 was always going to be a stretch. I couldn't understand why so many people in the media just assumed he was a certain starter in the Melb Cup? Unless some thought the Geelong Cup was a ballot free race. Scott, he is very unlikely to run again now to try get into the Cup. European horses are trained very differently to Australian horses and they will sometimes only run once a month (or less). If he ran in the Bendigo Cup, the Lexus or the Mackinnon (winning the Lexus or the Mackinnon would put him straight in) he would have pretty much run 4 times in a month which would just be an enormous change for him and even if he made the Melb Cup I doubt he would have any petrol left. I suspect they will give up on this year, run in the Zipping Classic and then look at next year, all they can do now I think.
So to get a bigger penalty it would have to have beaten the course record or won by a big space. Why didnt they just try to win one of the races that get a certain start in the cup if they wanted to make the field.
When I said that he'd start second favourite, I meant assuming he got a start. After he won he shortened into $11 - ridiculous odds for a horse 41st on the ballot with two weeks to go and exemption races still to run. More sensible odds now, but those guys that took $11....
I know running a horse 3 times within 3 weeks is simply not the done thing in the UK ..... as you say Molanski13 the usual practise there is to race a horse with approximately 1 monthly intervals between races . I doubt connections would put Gatewood through the gruelling test of trying to force the horse into the Melbourne cup , if they do, then as you say , he will have little petrol in the tank to tackle the Melbourne Cup , over a distance he has never been tried over before by the way , and is questionable wether he would be as strong as a number of others at the finish anyway . The most likely thing to happen is that they will just wait and hope the attrition rate of the runners in the cup to continue , or failing that set their sights on the Zipping classic instead .
I have to admit hamburger that after Gatewood won the Geelong Cup and the media were singing its praises the odds came right in on Betfair and i took the opportunity to lay the horse when it hit its lowest price ...... mind you its not out of the race yet , but i doubt it's chances of winning , let alone maling the Melbourne Cup field .