OTI Racing director Terry Henderson says veteran galloper Gailo Chop is on track for next month’s Group 1 Kingston Town Classic (1800m) at Ascot on December 7, despite an unplaced effort in the Mackinnon Stakes.
Gailo Chop led the $2 million Mackinnon Stakes at Flemington on Saturday, before he faded to finish 11th behind Magic Wand.
The Matthew Williams-trained gelding, a winner of the Mackinnon Stakes in 2015, showed signs of returning to some of his best form with a third placing behind WA galloper Black Heart Bart in the Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield in September.
Henderson, who had Tom Melbourne place in the Railway Stakes in 2017, said although it wasn’t his best performance, his recent form still warranted a trip to Perth in the hope he could capture a third Group 1 in Australia.
“Gailo Chop came out of his run well,” he told TABRadio.
“He didn’t finish off that race as well as we would have liked.
“When we got relatively easy mid-sectionals we thought he’d be right in it.
“He seems very well and at this stage he’s still going to come across for the Kingston Town barring anything going wrong.”
OTI Racing also had Harbour Views and Night’s Watch in line for a trip across the Nullarbor in the lead up to Melbourne Cup week.
Henderson said Night’s Watch’s 13th placed effort in the Mackinnon was one of a “tired horse”.
“Damien Oliver said after the race he just felt he’d had enough and was after the paddock,” he said.
“I think that’s what will happen.”