As a racehorse, he was as honest as they come, a multiple Group 1 winner who raced across three continents, collecting just shy of $4.5 million in prizemoney.
The OTI Racing-owned Gailo Chop was undoubtedly a star on the track, but in retirement he’s proving just as successful off it.
Now calling a property at Cardinia, southeast of Melbourne, home, the runner-up to Winx in the 2018 G1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes is about to embark on a new life.
In three weeks’ time ‘Gailo’ will be back in the limelight, this time as a show horse after an off-track transformation at the hands of legendary show horse producer Dale Plumb – the man known as the ‘godfather’ of off-the-track horses.
“He looks like a show horse, he’s ready to go,” Plumb said.
It’s an exciting prospect for Plumb, who has worked with hundreds of thoroughbreds, but none have been quite as popular as Gailo.
“I’ve never had a horse as well known as Gailo Chop before,” he said. “We’ve had hundreds of horses but never this high a profile one.
“He’s been very easy, he took to it straight away.”
After months of preparations and a debut delayed by COVID restrictions, Gailo will be out to impress at a show horse event at Werribee’s National Equestrian Centre on the first weekend of December.
And Plumb says the graduate product of OTI’s Welfare Program won’t be there to make up the numbers.
“Some never make it, some take a long time, but Gailo’s been great,” he said.
“I think he’ll do very well in the thoroughbred class, he’ll still go OK in the open section.
“He’s got the quality and the movement to certainly be up in the top lot, he is a very nice horse.”
Away from the hustle and bustle of racing life, the former Matthew Williams-trained galloper is loving his new-found change of pace.
“Everything is going nicely,” Plumb said. “They’re in a routine while racing, with trackwork and that, but with showing there’s no real routine, and if they can cope with that, they’re usually fine.”
Gailo’s connections have kept a keen eye on their former galloper’s progress and are sure to be cheering their boy on as he begins this new chapter post-racing.
This article was written by Tim Yeatman and can be read in full through Racing.com here.