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French-trained Australian-owned Gailo Chop is expected to come to Sydney to compete at The Championships during the autumn carnival.

Gailo Chop made his mark in Australia during the Melbourne spring, winning the Group One Mackinnon Stakes at Flemington a week after an unplaced effort in the Cox Plate.

The winner of eight of his 14 starts, Gailo Chop was a late scratching from the Hong Kong Cup in December because of lameness in a hind leg.

The $4 million Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Randwick in April is the Sydney target for Gailo Chop who is trained in the south of France by Antoine de Watrigant and races in the colours of OTI Racing.

“We’re expecting him to come to Sydney,” OTI’s Terry Henderson said.

“He’s perfectly fine. He’s in full work in France.

“We’re waiting on New South Wales to advise us of the arrangements, so if that looks satisfactory we’ll bring him out with another horse called Duke Of Ellington.”

Duke Of Ellington has won three of his 10 starts in France and is expected to remain in Australia and join a local stable.

Henderson said the Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) would probably be Gailo Chop’s only Sydney start should he make the trip.

“He might go to Hong Kong on the way home,” he said.

Last year’s Queen Elizabeth Stakes winner Criterion went to Hong Kong after his Sydney success last autumn and finished third in the QEII Cup at Sha Tin in late April.

Trained by David Hayes and Tom Dabernig, Criterion also went to Hong Kong after the Melbourne spring but was unplaced in the Hong Kong Cup.

Criterion was scheduled to leave the Werribee quarantine centre on Monday and he will be prepared for a defence of Sydney’s richest race.

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