French trainer Antoine de Watrigant has had to brush up on his English to talk up Cox Plate hope Gailo Chop.
Based in the south of France near the Spanish border, de Watrigant has picked up his English since arriving in Melbourne late last week to oversee the preparation of $26 chance Gailo Chop for Saturday’s weight-for-age contest at Moonee Valley.
It’s not only the media that has been waiting to hear from the trainer but also race jockey Brad Rawiller who has been eager to discuss Gailo Chop’s condition.
Rawiller partnered the OTI Racing galloper in a workout on Monday and again on Wednesday and continued to be impressed with his progress.
And de Watrigant has been just as happy with what he has seen of Gailo Chop since his arrival in Australia.
“He’s in good form,” de Watrigant said.
“The weight is very good and Moonee Valley is a very special track.
“The barrier draw (8) is not very good, but not bad as I prefer to stay outside the good horses.”
The trainer said Gailo Chop’s fitness levels had improved since his 15-day quarantine stay at Newmarket in England prior to his arrival in Melbourne on October 3.
The horse’s times on the training track have gradually picked up and the trainer believes Gailo Chop is nearing his peak.
“I’m happy because these two or three days, the form is back and keeps going up,” de Watrigant said.
“It’s a real pleasure for OTI to be running Gailo Chop in Australia.
“I think it’s very crazy, but it’s a good experience.”