Melbourne Spring Carnival Group 1 winner Gailo Chop looks set to return to Australia to run in the Group 1 $4m Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on April 9, the second day of ‘The Championships’.
The French trained Gailo Chop showed his class with a tough on the pace win in the Group 1 $1m Longines Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) at Flemington carrying the blue, gold and white colours of OTI Racing.
Gailo Chop was sent to Hong Kong following his Mackinnon Stakes win but a run in the Group 1 HK$25m Longines Hong Kong Cup (2000m) at Sha Tin on December 13 was aborted when the five year old developed some lameness in a hind leg.
French trainer Antoine de Watrigant then took Gailo Chop back to France to recuperate and OTI Racing’s Terry Henderson said that he has recovered from his setback and a Sydney trip is well and truly on the agenda.
“We’re expecting him to come to Sydney,” Henderson said.
“He’s perfectly fine. He’s in full work in France.
“We’re waiting on New South Wales to advise us of the arrangements, so if that looks satisfactory we’ll bring him out with another horse called Duke Of Ellington.”
At this stage Henderson has only pencilled in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes for Gailo Chop’s Autumn Carnival visit but the chestnut could head back to Hong Kong for the Group 1 HK$20m Audemars Piguet QEII Cup (2000m) a Sha Tin on April 24.
“He might go to Hong Kong on the way home,” Henderson said.
In early betting for the 2016 Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au, Gailo Chop is marked at $17 with 2015 Cox Plate winner Winx heading the market order at $4.60 ahead of Criterion at $11.
The Aidan O’Brien trained Highland Reel, the winner of the Group 1 HK$16.5m Longines Hong Kong Vase (2400m) at Sha Tin, is also marked at $11 along with 2015 Caulfield Cup winner Mongolian Khan, with the Chris Waller trained pair of Preferment and Press Statement sharing the next line of betting at $15.
Gailo Chop is the winner of eight of his fourteen starts and has collected just of AU$1.5 million in prizemoney.