What A Return
WINNER 13 OF 2023: THE GATEKEEPER, trained by Charlie Johnston and ridden by Andrea Atzeni: 'The Spreadex Sports Get 40 In Bonuses Handicap' over 7f at Newcastle.
Last seen in the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot in 2021, the son of Excelebration was a welcome sight back on a racecourse, after his long lay off from injury. We just wanted to see him enjoy himself and get back in the swing of things, with Charlie saying he would more likely need it.
Drawn in 1, he raced down the centre, leading until halfway, when he was headed. He chased the leader, edged right towards the near side, as Andrea asked him for an effort and led again 1f out. Pushed along, he went clear inside the final furlong, running on strongly to win by 2 lengths.
"The one to catch is The Gatekeeper! Good training performance." Watch the full race replay here: https://www.attheraces.com/racecard/Newcastle/02-March-2023/1620
Timeform rated it as a career best t100 saying: "Upped in trip for handicap/all-weather debut, also gelded since his 2-y-o days, made light of a 21-month absence, showing improved form and beating some exposed rivals with plenty up his sleeve; close up, raced freely, shaken up 2f out, produced to lead over 1f out, kept on well, won readily; a lengthy, useful-looking type, he probably has more to come now that he's back on track.”
Andrea said in his Sky Sports Racing interview, with Simon Mapletoft: "He was a little bit fresh for the first part of the race, but he came back to me halfway and when I let him down, he hit top gear. He had a good blow after the line and will definately come on for it. That's a good training performance.”
See the official photo gallery here: https://www.grossick.co.uk/p/80532khg/C245150604/newcastle
Syndicate manager Mike says: "Well that was happy viewing! He took the eye in the paddock, as he is a lovely scopey horse and this was noted by the Sky Sports Racing team. To win like that after 625 days off, against race fit rivals is an amazing training performance, so well done to Charlie and the team at Kingsley Park for the work they have done with him. I must congratulate his owners, who have stuck with him through this extended period off the track - their patience has been rewarded, with a career best performance on return. He is in The Lincoln and that is more than likely where he will head next - if he doesn't get in, then he will contest the £75,000 Spring Mile consolation race."
*We have released some shares in The Gatekeeper. If you purchase a share this weekend, you will receive 2 FREE TICKETS to our private Lincoln Day box event at Doncaster! A three course seated lunch and 200 of our owners attending, on what is always a great way to welcome in the turf season! See his share details here: https://www.middlehamparkracing.net/horses/view,the-gatekeeper_366.htm*