WA’s hardline COVID-19 rules forced Gailo Chop to make an early trip west but the Victorian-trained galloper could spring another surprise in Saturday’s Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m) at Ascot.
Gailo Chop went within a neck of an upset win in last year’s Group 1 Kingston Town Classic, leading until local mare Kay Cee over-ran him near the line at his WA debut.
Warrnambool trainer Matthew Williams set Gailo Chop for the 2020 Kingston Town Classic but tough travel restrictions forced the trainer’s hand on a flight to Perth.
Williams said Gail Chop left for Perth last month because later flights west for horses could not be guaranteed because of travel restrictions.
Gailo Chop missed the Crystal Mile and Mackinnon Stakes but Williams has been happy with the import’s progress at Lindsey Smith’s WA base.
“He’s been doing a lot of heavy sand work at Lindsey’s and been to Lark Hill for a gallop the last two Tuesdays,” Williams said.
“A bit more work during the week and he’ll be right to run in the Railway.”
Gailo Chop raced steadily without threatening in both the Underwood Stakes and Caulfield Stakes at his last two runs.
Williams said Gailo Chop would be suited getting away from the best Melbourne gallopers in the Railway Stakes.
“It’s similar form to last year and we’re getting away from the Russian Camelots and Arcadia Queens in the Railway but still running for $1 million in a Group 1 race,” Williams said.
Gailo Chop tuned up for the Railway Stakes with a trial win over 1450m at Lark Hill on Monday. Williams said a little more work during the week would prime Gailo Chop for the rich event.
Experienced jockey Brad Rawiller, who will spend the summer riding in Perth, will be aboard Gailo Chop in the Railway Stakes.
Rawiller last rode Gailo Chop into an unplaced finish behind Winx at the gelding’s Australian debut in the 2015 Cox Plate.