OTI Racing Manager Terry Henderson is keen to run Gailo Chop in the 2017 Melbourne Cup if the chestnut import can fill a minor placing behind Winx in the Group 1 $3m Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) at The Valley on Saturday.
The Chris Waller trained super star Winx looks to have a mortgage to win her third Ladbrokes Cox Plate on Saturday and is the only one the punters want at $1.16 at Ladbrokes.com.au while Gailo Chop is marked at $19.
Henderson has conceded with most racing enthusiasts that Winx looks unbeatable but he would be happy to pick up the second or third place cheque and find a spot in the Group 1 $6.25m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on November 7.
“If she (Winx) gets a quarter of the luck that she needs, she wins – she’s so much better than anything else,” Henderson told racing.com.
“Certainly from what I’ve seen. I haven’t seen better except for maybe Frankel.
“She’s up there with the best I’ve seen and I can remember Tulloch.”
“It’s certainly there as an aim if we are in a position to do it.”
Gailo Chop is currently number forty-four in the order of entry for the Melbourne and a win in the Cox Plate would see him become exempt from the ballot and a minor placing will see him move up the order of entry significantly.
Gailo Chop is a dual Group 1 winner over 2000m with his victories in the 2015 $1m Longines Mackinnon Stakes at Flemington and his last start win in the $1m Ladbrokes Stakes at Caulfield on October 14 and even though the seven year is yet to win beyond 2100m, Henderson is confident the Darren Weir trained gelding will handle the 3200m of the Melbourne Cup.
“We’ve always thought he would (run 3200m). He was bought as a Melbourne Cup horse as a lot of ours at that stage were,” Henderson said.
“Everything about the characteristics of the horse in terms of his lung capacity, his relaxed style of racing and you get a little bit of support from his breeding, says he’ll run well in a race like the Melbourne Cup.”
“We’re not saying that if we get into the race, we are going to win it but I see him going around as a 10/1 to 15/1 shot with the form that he’s in now and the characteristics that he’s got.”
“There are a lot of also-rans in the Melbourne Cup in a sense and that’s because of the handicap nature of it so I think he’d fit well into a Melbourne Cup field.”
Gailo Chop is certain to race on or near the pace from barrier four in the nine horse Cox Plate field with Ladbrokes Stakes winning jockey Mark Zahra in the saddle again.