Dual Group One winner Gailo Chop has tightened his grip on Australian Cup favouritism with an all-the-way win in the Peter Young Stakes at Caulfield.
The Darren Weir-trained import firmed from $5 to $3.50 for the $1.5 million Group One Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington on March 10 after defeating Single Gaze by 1-1/4 lengths in Saturday’s Group Two weight-for-age race, with Hartnell another 2-1/4 lengths away.
Ridden by Mark Zahra, Gailo Chop got into a good rhythm rolling along in front in the 1800m race and was full of running entering the home straight.
Single Gaze kept chasing gamely in the straight but couldn’t bridge the gap as Gailo Chop eased down late to win comfortably.
“He’s got a great racing style and just watching him then, he looked to be really enjoying that,” Weir said.
“When Mark asked him to go on the corner he really lengthened and it was a terrific win.
“He needed a good, strong gallop to be fit enough for the 2000 metres in a couple of weeks in the Australian Cup and I couldn’t be happier with him.”
Weir had earlier trained the quinella in the Group One Futurity Stakes, with Brave Smash beating Tosen Stardom, while stablemate Humidor was fourth in the same race.
Zahra also notched a Group One win on the program aboard the Peter and Paul Snowden-trained Russian Revolution in the Oakleigh Plate.