Tough French import Auvray to set to take on glamour fellow French galloper Gailo Chop when they clash in the Group 1 $1.5m Kia Tancred Stakes (2400m) at Rosehill today.
Trainer Richard Freedman describes Auvray as a genuine tough racehorse that has earned his chance at a Group 1 challenge with a last start win in the Group 3 $350,000 Harrolds Sky High Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill a fortnight ago.
Freedman said that he has pumped the work into Auvray during this campaign the seven year old has responded with flying colours.
“I’ve never had a horse as resilient as him who can lap up the work and still get fat,” Freedman told AAP.
“A lot of horses would fall by the wayside on that sort of regime but not him.”
Auvray has had some friends in the betting for the Tancred Stakes and has firmed in from $12 to $10 with Ladbrokes.com.au while the Darren Weir trained Gailo Chop is the easing $2.80 favourite.
Gailo Chop is the winner of three Group 1 races and is backing up week to week after claiming an emphatic win last Saturday at Rosehill in the Group 1 $700,000 Ranvet Stakes (2000m).
The front running seven year old will be ridden again by regular rider Mark Zahra who is hoping to be able to relax Gailo Chop in the early and middle stages to give him every chance to run out a strong 2400m whereas Auvray is a proven mile and a half horse with four wins over the Tancred Stakes distance.
“The main thing to get the 2400m is to have him comfortable and relaxed,’’ Zahra told Racing New South Wales News Desk.
“He has been relaxing well in his races, the key is just to have him switched off as long as possible.
“He jumps quickly and usually puts himself straight in the spot so, whether I’m in front or right there, it’s about getting him to switch off until it’s time to creep into the race.’’
Jason Collett takes over from the suspended Glyn Schofield on Auvray who has drawn barrier two while Gailo Chop will jump from gate seven in the Tancred Stakes field that has been reduced to nine runners with the scratching of the Chris Waller trained Libran.
The Liam Howley trained – Lloyd Williams owned Melbourne Cup winner Almandin is challenging Gailo Chop for favouritism for the Tancred Stakes and has firmed into $3 on race morning.