From his Warrnambool base, Matthew Williams admits it wasn’t pretty watching Gailo Chop’s poor showing in last fortnight’s Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m) in Perth.
WA’s Covid-19 restrictions prevented Williams from being at Ascot, but on reflection it may not have been such a bad idea to be a long distance away in Victoria.
Despite Williams’ best laid plans, everything that could go wrong for Gailo Chop in the Railway Stakes did go wrong; for the trainer it was horror viewing.
After a difficult run out wide on top of fast speed, the veteran 10-year-old was a spent force by the turn and had enough, fading to a distant last behind Inspirational Girl.
On that display the majority of punters have ignored Gailo Chop bouncing back in Saturday’s Group 1 Peoplestart Kingston Town Classic (1800m).
At $41 he is one of the outsiders with Tabtouch, but Williams has not lost faith in Gailo Chop and is confident he can recover pride and rebound quickly.
Gailo Chop is no stranger to Australia’s final Group 1 race of the year, going within a whisker of an upset win 12-months ago before local hero Kay Cee charged past him late in the race.
“In hindsight going forward from a wide draw and on speed was not the best move,” Williams told The Races WA.
“He was taken completely out of his comfort zone, but has bounced out of the run well.
“He was gone by the 600m, but Brad (Rawiller) looked after him and didn’t knock him around.
“He is going into race with an improved barrier and is a better horse over 1800m.
“He is in the same sort of condition as he was last year when he ran a cracking race.
“I think he is capable of rebounding and being competitive.
“It will be interesting to see how other horses back up after a hard run Railway Stakes.
“It wouldn’t be a complete shock to me if he won.
“I would be disappointed if he didn’t finish in the top three.”
After drawing the widest gate (16) in the Railway Stakes, Gailo Chop slides to barrier four in the Kingston Town Classic.
Brad Rawiller, fresh from his Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) success on Elite Street a week ago, retains the ride.
Now based in Perth, the experienced rider won the Kingston Town Classic twice previously with Niconero (2006-2008).
Gailo Chop, a multiple Group 1 champion, has won over $4 million in prizemoney from his 13 wins and nine placings.
Nearing his 42nd race start, Williams admitted Gailo Chop could be facing his final race in the Kingston Town Classic.
“This potentially could be his last race and it would be good to bow out on a high note,” Williams said.
“It’s something I would have to obviously mull over with his owners.
“Because of his age I think he would need to come out and run a competitive race to warrant thinking about another campaign.”