Victorian trainer Darren Weir has tasted Group One success in Sydney for the first time. (file)
Victoria’s master trainer Darren Weir has secured his first Group One in Sydney, and now sets his sights on a quickfire double with Gailo Chop.
After the seven-year-old gelding’s commanding win in the Ranvet Stakes (2000m), there was no hesitation in challenging Gailo Chop to return to Rosehill for next Saturday’s Tancred Stakes (2400m).
“I think we’ve got to have a crack. We’re up here now, we’ll push that way with him and see how he goes,” said Weir’s stable representative Jarrod McLean.
“I think he’ll run the trip, there’s no worries with the back-up.”
Gailo Chop last ran 2400m in the Group One Sheema Classic in Dubai in March 2016, her final race before heading from France to Weir’s Warrnambool stable.
History suggests the now three-time Group One winner should be able to handle the seven-day back-up for a second time.
She completed the assignment in 2014 when travelling to Melbourne with her former trainer Antoine De Watrignant.
Gailo Chop bounced back to win the Group One Mackinnon Stakes a week after finishing eighth to Winx in the Cox Plate.
McLean felt her first Group One with Weir was never in doubt for the $2.05 favourite although Kathy O’Hara on Single Gaze ($5) did her best to keep pace before crossing three lengths adrift.
Prized Icon ($11) was a short neck third.
“Without going the early crow, just watching the race, when he’s doing sectionals of 12 and a half, 12 and a half, 12 and a half … he’s an incredible horse,” McLean said.
“Kathy’s done the right thing on Single Gaze, she’s tried to serve it up to him, she came off him (Gailo Chop) to give her horse every chance.
“He’s just hard to beat over the 2000 metres.”
Gailo Chop’s victory follows hard on the heels of Hellbent’s triumph in the William Reid Stakes at Moonee Valley on Friday night and boosts Weir’s Group One tally this season to seven.
Single Gaze’s trainer Nick Olive was philosophical after the mare improved on her last start fifth in the Group One Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington on March 10.
“Last start it felt like she didn’t get her chance but at least today she ran up to her best and the winner was just too good,” he said.
Olive said Single Gaze would attempt to turn the tables in the Tancred Stakes.
“She’s crying out for that now,” he said.