French horse Gailo Chop has atoned for his defeat in the Cox Plate with a dogged win in the Mackinnon Stakes at Flemington.
Taken to the front midrace by Ben Melham, Gailo Chop appeared to be under siege when Rising Romance ranged up and headed him and Contributer was produced out wider.
But Gailo Chop kicked back to regain the lead from Rising Romance and Contributer couldn’t run down the first pair, finishing third.
“Rising Romance put a solid neck on him and he dug deep and was really tough to the line,” Melham said.
“This is my tenth Group One but it’s probably the biggest Group One I’ve won.”
Gailo Chop finished eighth to Winx at Moonee Valley seven days ago and continued the outstanding recent record of Cox Plate runners in the Mackinnon.
Ten of the past 12 renewals have been won by a horse with a Cox Plate formline.
Gailo Chop’s victory was a breakthrough for his trainer Antoine De Watrigant, giving him his first elite-level win.
“I’m very happy, it’s my first Group One,” De Watrigant said.