UK stayer Gatewood has all but booked himself on the first shipment of European horses to Melbourne. Gatewood went down in a photo finish in the Group 2 Prix de Deauville (2510m) at Deauville in France early on Monday (AEST), but it didn’t dampen the enthusiasm for a trip to Melbourne.

Jockey William Buick said there was much to like about the run of Gatewood, who is raced by Terry Henderson and Simon O’Donnell’s OTI syndicate.

Buick said he felt Gatewood delivered a near best-ever run in France.

"That's his best run. He dug in really well but the ground was a bit tacky,” Buick told the Sporting Life.

Gatewood, winner of the 2012 Geelong Cup, was beaten a head by Cocktail Queen on a track that was rated as "very soft". It is ground that the horse doesn’t particularly appreciate.

OTI tweeted: “If he pulls up well, he’s likely to head to Melb carnival.”

The seven-year-old, trained  by John Gosden, holds an entry for the Caulfield Cup.

French horse Calvin Williams, raced by Gerry Ryan, who owns Puissance de Lune and part-owned Americain, must be listed as unlikely to feature in the Melbourne spring.

Calvin Williams finished last in the Prix Quincey Lucien Barrier, a Group 3 event over 1600 metres earlier on the Deauville card.

The horse has been entered for the Cox Plate.

To run in the Caulfield Cup and/or Cox Plate, international horses must enter quarantine on September 9.