In a normal year after victory in the Caulfield Stakes, Gailo Chop would be vying for favouritism in the Cox Plate.
But this year he has to deal with Winx who is aiming for her third consecutive win in Saturday’s Group One Cox Plate at Moonee Valley.
Saturday will be Gailo Chop’s second attempt at Cox Plate riches.
His first was in 2015 when he finished eighth, 12-1/2 lengths behind Winx.
With the final field still to be declared, Gailo Chop is second favourite for Saturday’s race at $15 with Winx $1.15.
Gailo Chop is now a dual Group One winner having claimed the Mackinnon Stakes at Flemington a week after his initial Cox Plate performance but he has been dogged by injury.
After his Mackinnon success, Gailo Chop returned to France where he was originally trained by Antoine de Watrigant, contesting the Dubai Sheema Classic in March last year when he suffered a tendon injury.
He returned to Australia for his rehabilitation and Darren Weir has overseen his preparation which includes two wins from five starts.
Weir says Gailo Chop has improved off his last-start victory over Caulfield Cup placegetter Johannes Vermeer in the Caulfield Stakes, but concedes it’s going to take a monumental performance to topple Winx.
“He’s continued to improve with each run and he’s going to present there in great shape,” Weir said.
“If you take her out what would you be saying about him then. You’d expect him to be around the mark somewhere.
“Strange things can happen as they all can get beaten at some stage, most of them do, as she did early on.
“But I hope she doesn’t get beaten for racing’s sake, but you just never know in racing.
“It is a horse race.”