Trainer Matthew Williams was rapt with the run of Gailo Chop with his fourth-placed finish in the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
Gailo Chop’s performance in the $1 million Group 1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m) on October 10 will determine the direction Williams will take with the gelding.
After tracking the speed set by Trap For Fools and the winner Russian Camelot, Gailo Chop finished fourth on Saturday, beaten just under 2-½ lengths.
Gailo Chop finished third in the Underwood Stakes last year, beaten 1.7 lengths by Black Heart Bart and Homesman.
As he did last year, Gailo Chop finished towards the rear first-up in the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on September 12.
“He improved so much on his Makybe run to his Underwood run,” Williams said.
“Both years in the Makybe he’s been a little bit plain, but when he’s got to Caulfield he’s jumped out of the ground getting to the 1800 (metres).”
Williams said Russian Camelot rolling forward early in the race had upset his plans and may have cost the gelding finishing in the placings.
“The plan was to sit outside Trap For Fools and then Oli (Damien Oliver) kicked up on Russian Camelot which we didn’t see happening,” Williams said.
“That was a bit of a surprise and he couldn’t get rolling that bit earlier than he would have liked.
“He would’ve made it interesting had he been able to do his thing as he doesn’t like having to wait that long before he goes.
“It was a terrific run.”
Williams said after the Caulfield Stakes he will reassess options which could include a trip to Perth for the Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m) in November and the Group 1 Kingston Town Stakes (1800m) in December.
Gailo Chop ran second to Kay Cee in the Kingston Town last year.
Matthew Williams, picture Racing Photos