GAILO Chop has all the attributes of an old-fashioned star and that’s certainly enough to get him over the line in the Group 1 Australian Cup, writes leading Herald Sun form analyst Michael Manley.
The Darren Weir-trained stayer processes the natural speed to take up a forward spot and then can increase the tempo.
In the mould of Durbridge and Northerly, Manley believes the eight-year-old Gailo Chop shapes as the one to beat over the 2000m journey.
$1.5m TAB AUSTRALIAN CUP (2000m)
Flemington Race 8, Saturday 4.35pm
1 HARTNELL 6 James Cummings Craig Williams 59kg $8
2 ALMANDIN 11 Liam Howley Damien Oliver 59kg $5.50
3 AMBITIOUS 12 Anthony Freedman Damian Lane 59kg $18
4 GAILO CHOP 10 Darren Weir Mark Zahra 59kg $3.20
5 VENTURA STORM 2 David & B Hayes & T Dabernig Regan Bayliss 59kg $31
6 SUPPLY AND DEMAND 9 Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott Stephen Baster 59kg $34
7 HARLEM 4 David & B Hayes & T Dabernig Michael Walker 59kg $31
8 LORD FANDANGO 1 Archie Alexander Jordan Childs 59kg $34
9 THE TAJ MAHAL 7 Liam Howley Ben Melham 58.5kg $7
10 HOMESMAN 3 Liam Howley Michael Dee 58.5kg $11
11 SINGLE GAZE 5 Nick Olive Ms Kathy O’Hara 57kg $7.50
12 DEVISE 8 Shaune Ritchie Chad Schofield 57kg $21
TOP TIPS: WEEKEND BEST BETS
THE EARLY OIL: FLEMINGTON
ANALYSIS: NEWMARKET HANDICAP
TRACK: Good 4
RAIL: Out 4m
FORECAST: Sunny, 34C
Likely to be busy with SUPPLY AND DEMAND and GAILO CHOP pushing forward. Lloyd Williams has declared his trio, HOMESMAN, THE TAJ MAHAL and also ALMANDIN will push forward. SINGLE GAZE and DEVISE will also go forward.
INSIDE MAIL: CUMMINGS’ STARS READY TO RUMBLE
RACING CONFIDENTIAL: SIGNS GOOD FOR WINX RUN IN QE STAKES
Star who does tend to find one or two better, but loves Flemington. His last appearance at this track and distance was his devastating performance to win the Turnbull Stakes in 2016. He was no match for Gailo Chop when third in the Peter Young Stakes last start.
Grand stayer who looked certain to defeat his stablemate Homesman at Caulfield but was outkicked. Lloyd Williams has placed the blinkers on him to sharpen him up for 2000m and he also points out former Melbourne Cup winners have a good record in the race.
The most interesting runner as the best credentialed Japanese import to have raced here; has defeated Kitasan Black and finished fourth in a Tenno Sho behind Maurice. Anthony Freedman isn’t certain what the galloper is capable of today.
Throwback to another era — the old fashioned “weight-for-age” galloper. Has the speed to take up a forward spot and then can increase the tempo. Darren Weir said his action has never been better and he’s clicked with Mark Zahra. In great form, has won a Group 1 this track and distance, he’s the one to beat.
David Hayes has assessed him “as the joker in the pack”. Fitter for a useful first-up fourth behind Gailo Chop in the Peter Young and last campaign he finished second, beaten a respectable 6.5 lengths, by Winx in the Turnbull Stakes. Blinkers go on first time.
SUPPLY AND DEMAND
Game Waterhouse/Bott onpacer who is likely to lead. Will need to be left alone in front for him to be a chance and form suggests he’s flying too high.
David Hayes said forget his last start failure in the Peter Young as the horse was off colour. Comes right into calculations on his first-up second behind Gailo Chop in the Carlyon Cup.
His seemingly never ending upward spiral came to an end at his last start with a surprisingly poor run when last in the Peter Young. He’s far better than that, blinkers go on first time but he’s still a question mark at Group 1 weight-for-age.
THE TAJ MAHAL
Former Irish galloper showed enough at his first Australian campaign to stamp himself as a star with a fourth in the Emirates Stakes and a win in the Zipping Classic. He might be the best horse in this race.
Former promising international galloper who won his Australian debut with tough effort to defeat his stablemate Almandin over 2000m at Caulfield. Lloyd Williams said he’s gone on with it since that win and he’s got a lot of upside. Query runner.
Top class, reliable Canberra mare who should be in the finish. She stuck on well when second to Gailo Chop in the Peter Young at Caulfield, following him every step of the way. Likely to do the same but can she get in front of him today?
Perfectly ridden to win at Group 1 level at Hastings, NZ last start. She was placed in three consecutive races behind star mare Bonneval last year which reads well for this.
MICHAEL MANLEY TIPS
1. GAILO CHOP
2. The Taj Mahal
3. Single Gaze
FOUR of the past six winners of the Australian Cup have come through the Peter Young Stakes
10 winners from 32 horses who have attempted the Peter Young-Australian Cup double, the most recent Fiorente in 2014
SIX Melbourne Cup winners have gone on to win the Australian Cup, the last Fiorente (2014)
IN the past 10 years, it’s been better to have drawn out — eight winners have come from barrier seven to 12
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RACEDAY FOCUS: FLEMINGTON
LLOYD Williams is hoping that the addition of blinkers will help sharpen ALAMANDIN ((R8, No. 2 $5) up to tackle the 2000m of Saturday’s Australian Cup (2000m).
“He’s very well. If you watched him work up the hills at Mount Macedon on Tuesday and Thursday with the blinkers on he was eating it up,” Williams said.
“Damien (Oliver) is quite confident but it’s yet to be proven than he can win over 2000m at weight-for-age.”
Williams is also hopeful his other pair in the Australian Cup, HOMESMAN ((R8, No. 10 $11) and THE TAJ MAHAL (R8, No. 9 $7) should also run well.
“Homesman’s improved quite a lot since his win. I couldn’t be happier with him but it’s a step up from a handicap to weight-for-age.”
Williams said he’s confident that The Taj Mahal would run a big race.
Williams said like his other pair The Taj Mahal would also push forward in the race.
“He’ll be in the first three or four. He’ll be strong to the line,” he said.
Williams said Ben Melham didn’t let him stride when he ran fourth in The Emirates Stakes before he won the Zipping Classic.
GAILO CHOP (R8, No. 4 $3.00)
Darren Weir has him in the zone and he’s clicked with Mark Zahra. He’s comfortably won both of his starts this time in and he’s going to take catching again.
PORTMAN (R3, No. 6 $3.70)
Resumed with excellent first-up run for fourth down the straight behind Ken’s Dream. He won second-up this track and distance last campaign.
SAMOVARE (R7, No. 3 $2.90)
Classy mare who took off early to take on Silent Sedition before the turn at Caulfield last start so effort to hold on for second was sound. 1600m will suit.
DEMONSTRATE (R1, No. 2 $5.50)
He’s flying for Allan and Jason Williams. Their son/brother Craig rode him perfectly to win at Moonee Valley last start. He should again get a good position behind what should be a fast speed.
FASTNET TEMPEST (R6, No. 8 $34)
Can lightning strike twice. He has a similar profile to Redkirk Warrior in last year’s Newmarket. Finished off strongly in recent Flemington jump-out.
SUNDAY PRAY (R3, No. 10) $13 into $9.50
SEBERATE (R4, No. 5) $10 into $7
SHILLELAGH (R7, No. 1) $4.60 into $4
PORTMAN (R3, No. 6 $3.70)
“He finished off nicely first-up and this looks a nice race for him to tackle this track and distance second-up.”
SUMMER SHAM ((R5, No. 3 $7)
“She worked well at 13th Beach last Tuesday. She’s in great shape and should run well.”