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Multiple Group One winner Gailo Chop is set to resume racing

Multiple Group One winner Gailo Chop is set to resume racing, but his trainer Matthew Williams is unsure where that will be.

With Racing Victoria and Racing NSW announcing racing is set to continue while other sports are in shutdown because of the COVID-19 crisis, Williams has entered Gailo Chop for races in both jurisdictions on Saturday.

Gailo Chop is nominated for the Golden Mile (1600m) at Bendigo and the Doncaster Prelude (1500m) at Rosehill with Williams saying the nine-year-old is likely to be an acceptor for both races as long as the border is not closed.

“He will definitely run at the weekend, just where I don’t know,” Williams said.

“I see there is a bit of rain forecast in Sydney so there is some chance he may go that way.

“If he did happen to go he could then stay with Matthew Smith at Warwick Farm who has a few OTI horses and he would then run in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Randwick.”

But Williams said the option to stay home was appealing and may be forced on him.

He said the Bendigo race was possibly a softer option because he can use the Warrnambool beach to aid in the horse’s recovery.

Gailo Chop could then run in the Easter Cup (2000m) at Caulfield on April 11, the same day as the $4 million Queen Elizabeth Stakes over the same distance.

Longer term Williams hopes to have Gailo Chop in Queensland for the Hollindale Stakes at the Gold Coast and the Doomben Cup if the borders to that state are opened after the Queensland government’s closure announcement from Wednesday.

Gailo Chop is a three-time Group One winner in Australia, the latest in the 2018 Ranvet Stakes, but he has also been beset by a number of tendon injuries.

Williams rehabilitated Gailo Chop from his most recent injury with the gelding having a six-run campaign last spring, the latest when second in the Kingston Town Stakes (1800m) at Ascot in December.

Gailo Chop had a month in the paddock after his Perth trip.

“If you let him down too far, he’s too hard to get back up again,” Williams said.

“I think if we can get him up there nice and sound for those two races in Queensland, they’re probably races that he can run top three in.

“But if he got the track and conditions right on the day they are races that he could get himself back in the winner’s circle in.”

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