Trainer Matthew Williams is looking forward to his first trip to Perth and laying eyes on Gailo Chop ahead of the Kingston Town Stakes.
It has been more than two weeks since Warrnambool-based Williams saw the nine-year-old who runs over 1800m in the final Group One race of the year at Ascot on Saturday.
Gailo Chop has been in the care of Williams’ employee Sarah Woodhouse and stabled at fellow Warrnambool trainer Lindsey Smith’s Perth base.
Williams is making his first trip to Perth and would have liked a bit more time in the west.
“It would be nice to get away with one horse but when you’re working 60 horses, it’s a bit hard,” Williams said.
“Sarah’s been away for over two weeks now and she’d be having a ball over at Lindsey’s place.”
Williams has been receiving daily reports from Woodhouse.
He said Gailo Chop had worked on the heavy sand at Smith’s property while Woodhouse has also taken the gelding to the beach to replicate Warrnambool conditions.
And for a final gallop Gailo Chop went to Lark Hill on Wednesday.
“He’s bright and well,” Williams said.
“He went over very fit and it was just a matter of keeping him happy.
“He’s coming back from the 2000 (metres) to the 1800 and we’re trying to put a bit of freshness back in his legs.”
After running third in the Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield in September, Gailo Chop has been unplaced in three runs since, the latest when 11th in the Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on November 9.
While Williams said barrier 12 was not ideal he hoped Gailo Chop could work across and possibly lead.
“Last start he was a victim of strong winds and it was a day you didn’t want to be a leader,” Williams said.
“It looked like in Perth last week if you were a horse that raced on the pace it was a bit of an advantage and near the fence seemed all right, so I’ll be hoping it plays that way this Saturday.”