Gailo Chop One Step Closer to a Return to Racing

A pleasing gallop between races at Ballarat yesterday has multiple Group One winner Gailo Chop one step closer to a return to racing after a lengthy injury lay-off.

Gailo Chop is on the comeback trail from a tendon injury, having not raced since finishing second to champion Winx in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Randwick in April last year.

Now in the care of Warrnambool trainer Matthew Williams, Gailo Chop was taken to Ballarat for a gallop on the synthetic track between races on Tuesday and pleased his trainer with the way he worked in company with Social Spin.

John Allen rode Gailo Chop in the hit-out.

“He had a gallop there a week ago and he worked solo and just had a bit of a look up the straight,” Williams said. With a mate today he travelled up a lot stronger and he worked nicely to the line on the bridle. It was a pretty strong last 600 metres. He pulled up terrific after it.

“He still looks a bit chubby but at the end of the day it’s still nearly three months until the 2019 Cox Plate which is obviously his main goal.”

Williams plans to give Gailo Chop three barrier trials, the first at Cranbourne on Monday, before his planned return in the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on September 14.

After the Makybe Diva, Gailo Chop is scheduled to progress to the Underwood Stakes and the Cox Plate.

“His action and that is great,” Williams said.

“He’s always been a really good moving horse.

“He certainly hasn’t lost that and he certainly seems to still have that bit of fire in the belly.”

To view his on-track experience at Ballarat, please watch the video below:


Article: Just Horse Racing AAP+
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Benitoite Continues Rapid Rise

Benitoite has continued her rise through the grades defying an inside draw to win at Caulfield over the weekend.

The three-year-old extended her tally to four wins from six starts taking out Saturday’s VOBIS Gold Reef.

Commencing her career with a Moe win in April, Benitoite is now a dual city winner following Saturday’s success for trainer Clinton McDonald.

Sent off an equal favourite under Damien Oliver, Benitoite defeated Taksu by a long neck with Collectable a length away third.

While the temptation would be to send the filly for a break after the sixth run of her first campaign, Oliver said providing she pulled-up well he would be recommending Benitoite raced on.

“Clinton’s done a great job with her to win four races in her first prep, taking her from a maiden to winning a couple in town,” Oliver said.

“I think they should continue with her, get another one out of her at the distance before all the good ones get up to the trip.”

McDonald will assess the filly’s recovery before deciding whether to go again but thinks Benitoite could be a player in the autumn.

“It was a good win as the inside hasn’t been the place to be all day,” McDonald said.

“She’s a mare I think that will go places and will be a really nice mare in the autumn.”

Benitoite looks set to make her next start August 17.


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Back-to-back Stakes Wins for Downdraft

The improving Downdraft (4yo Colt Camelot x Cinnamon Rose, by Trempolino) made a successful step up in trip to take Her Majesty’s Plate, a Listed contest over a mile and six furlongs, at Down Royal on Friday.

The Joseph O’Brien-trained colt was following up on his debut black-type victory in the Lenebane Stakes over a mile and a half at Roscommon earlier in the month. Sent off second favourite under a penalty, he chased the leaders for much of the way and was driven to challenge over a furlong out by Donnacha O’Brien. Leading inside the final furlong, he wan on to beat the favourite The King (Mastercraftsman) by three lengths, with a further five lengths back to Giuseppe Garibaldi (Galileo) in third.

Donnacha O’Brien was full of praise for Downdraft after the race, saying, “He’s a beautiful horse to ride, you just throw the reins at him and he goes along at his own pace. Then when you give him a squeeze he is there for you. He’s an improving horse and I think the step-up in trip brought about more improvement. He is tactical and he relaxes, so you would have a load of options with him.”

Downdraft was bred by Airlie Stud and is a half-brother to Moyglare Stud Stakes heroine Chelsea Rose, herself the dam of dual Group 1 winner Kew Gardens (Galileo).

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