Darren Weir says French-bred import Gailo Chop is in for a good preparation after making a winning return at Caulfield.
The winner of the Group One Caulfield Stakes last spring, Gailo Chop took out the Group Three Carlyon Cup (1600m) on Saturday.
Ridden by Mark Zahra, Gailo Chop was sent off the $2.50 favourite before scoring a 1-1/4 length win over Harlem ($4.60) with Lord Fandango ($9) 1-3/4 lengths away third.
Gailo Chop is now in his second preparation with Weir having first travelled to Australia with French trainer Antoine De Watrigant for the 2015 spring carnival when he won the Group One Mackinnon Stakes at Flemington.
He ran at the 2016 Dubai Cup carnival and not long after went amiss and was sent to Australia to recuperate.
Weir said Gailo Chop went out for a spell a tired horse after finishing 11th in the Mackinnon Stakes last spring.
“His last preparation was the first that he’d had with us and we were able to win one of the big ones,” Weir said.
“That was a great thrill to come back from a long lay off, but he went out pretty tired and I guess light enough.
“We spelled him and made sure he didn’t get big in condition and when he came into the stable he’s absolutely thrived.”
Weir said Gailo Chop would target the Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington on March 10 with a trip to Sydney to follow.
“Sydney appeals to us because he’s effective on rain-affected ground so we’ll be looking to get him up there,” Weir said.
“The way he went today he’s in for a good prep.”