In-form weight for age star Gailo Chop is set to back up this week in the Group 1 $1.5m Kia Tancred Stakes (2400m) at Rosehill on Saturday.
Gailo Chop made a one acted affair in winning the Group 1 $700,000 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill last Saturday with a three lengths victory over Single Gaze and will now chase two Group 1 victories in a week.
The Darren Weir trained Gailo Chop has drawn barrier eight in the ten horse Tancred Stakes field and regular rider Mark Zahra is confident the French import will be able to handle the step up in distance to the 2400m.
“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.’’
At his previous start before the Ranvet Stakes Gailo Chop was narrowly defeated by the Lindsay Park trained Harlem in the Group 1 $1.5m Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington on March 10, but it is the fourth placed Almandin that Zahra feels is the main danger to Gailo Chop in the Tancred Stakes.
“He (Almandin) probably should have gone close to winning the Australian Cup, he was very stiff, he’s a proven stayer so the journey won’t be a problem,’’ Zahra said.
“He will be the one coming at me late if I’m still hanging on with not long to go.’’
Almandin has drawn the outside gate in the Tancred Stakes but that won’t worry his jockey Kerrin McEvoy who will settle the 2016 Melbourne Cup winner in the second half of the field.
Gailo Chop will be up against Harlem again in the Tancred Stakes but the Lindsay Park trained six year old failed to repeat his Australian Cup performance and was beaten six and three quarter lengths when sixth in the Ranvet Stakes.
Michael Walker will ride Harlem again who has drawn barrier seven while his Lindsay Park stablemate Ventura Storm will jump from gate four with Damien Oliver in the saddle.
Chris Waller will saddle up two runners in the Tancred Stakes, Libran with Brenton Avdulla from barrier six and veteran stayer Who Shot Thebarman from gate nine with Hugh Bowman.
Ranvet Stakes runner up Single Gaze has drawn the rails with regular rider Kathy O’Hara in the saddle again.
Early betting for the Tancred Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au has Gailo Chop as the $2.20 favourite just ahead of Almandin at $3.60 with Single Gaze on the third line of betting at $7.50.