Gates out to show Victoria Derby 2023 prospects

Trainers Peter Moody and Katherine Coleman have high hopes for Gates and are prepared to test the colt at Stakes level at Caulfield.

A son of Frankel, Gates runs in the Group 3 Caulfield Classic (2000m) on Saturday as a lead-up to a potential start in the Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington on November 4.

Gates will be lining up for only his fourth start on Saturday.

After a two-run preparation as a two-year-old in May, finishing out of the money at Sandown and Flemington respectively, Gates was brought back last month to win a 1500m maiden first-up at Sandown.

Moody said following that success that he was planning a Derby campaign with Gates who had shown the training partners staying promise from the outset.

Gates was entered to run in an 1800m race at Flemington on October 7, but Moody and Coleman elected to bypass that contest for Saturday’s race at 2000m.

“It was always my intention after he won that maiden at Sandown to go straight to Saturday,” Moody said.

“But I thought, ‘oh well, I’ll throw him in, and he can have a look at Flemington’, but when he drew 17, I thought I’d keep him at home and gallop him instead.

“And I’m really happy with how he’s going at home.”

While Moody has positive expectations about Gates leading into Saturday and further to the Derby two weeks later, the trainer is also looking forward seeing the colt against some stiff competition on Saturday.

Moody was impressed with the way the Chris Waller-trained Riff Rocket went about his work when successful in that 1800m contest at Flemington on October 7.

“I’m looking forward to seeing him run,” Moody said.

“I’m looking forward to a competitive run, second-up at 2000 (metres) and then seeing him improve going into the Derby.

“I’m respectful of that horse of Waller’s that won well the other day, but that will give me a bit of a feel as to where we’re sitting with him.”

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