Queen Elizabeth Stakes runner up Gailo Chop is set to head trainer Darren Weir’s assault on the Group 1 $650,000 Hardy Brothers Doomben Cup (2000m) at Doomben in May during the 2018 Brisbane Winter Carnival.
Gailo Chop’s stablemate Humidor and European import Red Cardinal are also early Doomben Cup contender for Victoria’s leading trainer.
“The Doomben Cup might be options for them because it’s a weight-for-age, 2000m race,” Weir told the Herald Sun.
“You’re probably looking at that with one of them, I’m not sure which one.
“One will head up, the other will head to the paddock.”
Both Gailo Chop and Humidor have come through a tough Sydney Autumn Carnival campaign which ended up with them chasing home super star Winx in the Group 1 $4m Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on day two of The Championships last Saturday.
Gailo Chop set the pace and battled on well in the straight to fill second spot even though Winx cruised past him to record a three and three quarter lengths win while Humidor made up a little bit of ground to find fourth position.
“Both horses had their chances and both weren’t good enough, obviously,” Weir said.
“I thought Gailo Chop ran very brave, makes his own luck on speed and that’s about as good as he can go.
“Humidor, I thought he might have charged a little bit better late.
“He sort of looked a little bit one-paced late, but he still ran well.”
Weir is also eyeing off a Doomben Cup start for new stable acquisition Red Carnival who could be having his first start for the stable in the Group 1 $600,000 Schweppes All Aged Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on Saturday.
The Australian Bloodstock owned Red Cardinal, who has raced in five different countries, will be having his first start this campaign in the All Aged Stakes and second run in Australia since pulling up lame after finishing eleventh to Rekindling in the Group 1 $6.25m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington during the 2017 Spring Carnival.
“He pulled up three out of five lame – he injured his knee,” Australian Bloodstock director Jamie Lovett told racing.com.
“It’s been a long road back and obviously we haven’t seen him since the Melbourne Cup so Darren’s just given him a long, slow build-up at the beach and he feels that he’s fit without being near ready to go to a mile and a half just yet.”
Australian Bloodstock director Jamie Lovett, who shares in the ownership of the import, said that the six year old is ready to start his build up for Brisbane Winter Carnival and the 1400m will be a solid grounding for the longer races later in his campaign.
“We’ve got a winter campaign in Brisbane in mind so we have to kick off somewhere and the tracks are still too firm in Melbourne while Randwick’s got a good cover of grass at the moment,” Australian Bloodstock director Jamie Lovett said.
“The Doomben Cup is a chance but we’re looking at the Brisbane Cup with him.”