OTI has three runners participating in black-type racing at The Heath this afternoon.
The first to step out is Gallic Chieftain for Darren Weir, with Ben Allen taking the ride, in the Listed Mornington Cup Prelude (Race 1). The horse ran positively in his first run this campaign, and although a greater distance will suit the horse, the Weir stable are still expecting a strong run. Such a run could bring the Mornington Cup into play. Held in March, the Mornington Cup is an automatic qualifier for the Caulfield Cup later in the year, so could become a valuable race strategy.
From the first race on the card, we then wait until the last before seeing our other two runners. Gailo Chop and Lord Fandango will again go head to head in the Group 2 Peter Young Stakes . It is an 1800m weight for age race.
Lord Fandango is set to a slight disadvantage, racing with parallel weights whilst competing Group 1 winners Hartnell and Gailo Chop. In addition, it’s a shorter distance than his preferred trip. However, Archie Alexander is pleased with his work at home and believes he will hit the line strongly in preparation for the Australia Cup on March 10.
Gailo Chop returned in super fashion two weeks ago, winning the Group 3 Carlyon Cup. He has an enviable record at Caulfield, having won the Group 1 Caulfield Stakes last spring with Mark Zahra again on board. Amongst the vanquished that day was Hartnell, who again presents as potentially the hardest to beat. Gailo Chop has shown good form in training since his first-up win in and is currently race favorite.
Both Gailo Chop and Lord Fandango are expected to progress on to the Group 1 Australia Cup at Flemington on March 10 after today’s race.
Best of luck to all connections of the three runners involved.