Gates stakes claims for the Victoria Derby 2023

Peter Moody and syndicator Wylie Dalziel put their necks on the line when they purchased Gates at a Magic Millions Yearling Sale.

The son of Frankel, a close relation to stayer Mirage Dancer that third in the 2019 Caulfield Cup, and won The Metropolitan in Sydney, was a $950,000 purchase by the pair in 2022.

Gates had his third start on Wednesday when taking out the Ladbrokes Bet Ticker Plate (1500m) to show his trainer he may be a stayer with potential.

Ridden by Luke Nolen , Gates ($8) registered a three-quarter length first-up win from Binotto ($4.40) with Life Sentence ($9) a head away third.

Gates still has a long way to go to recoup his purchase price, and while he is still a colt, Moody suggested his future may be as a gelding.

Moody said both he and Dalziel had put their own ‘manhood’ on the line if they did not secure a result with Gates.

While Wednesday’s victory was at 1500m and first-up, Moody said the colt has staying potential.

“He’s always indicated that he’s going to be a nice staying horse,” Moody said.

“He hasn’t got a lot of brilliance, but he can maintain a good gallop.

“He’s the type of horse that you will probably see in a 2000-metre next time and ridden the same way.

“He will stay all day and I think he will have a bit of quality coming through as a stayer.”

Moody said the Group 3 Caulfield Classic (2000m) on October 21 could potentially be the next outing for Gates who could progress to the Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington two weeks later.

Gates had two starts as a two-year-old over 1300m and 1400m in May before being spelled.

“He’s furnished and grown up a bit, but we didn’t give him a long time away because he is such a big horse, and we were mindful of that while keeping him an entire,” Moody said.

“He’s a nice progressive horse that can build on that and he could go to the Caulfield Classic in a months’ time at 2000 metres and see if we can build off it again, to something like the Derby.

“I’ve got the timing, but that’s the type of horse he is, whether it’s this time or in the autumn.

“But we can get some more work into him, so I’m not ruling it out.”

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