Chaillot explosive in first-up Sandown win

Lightly raced Chaillot (by Testa Rossa) is expected to chase Group 1 glory later in the spring after an impressive return victory at Sandown. The Archie Alexander-trained mare looked in trouble early in the straight, but charged home late to claim the Listed Testa Rossa Stakes (1300m) on Saturday. 

The victory was Chaillot’s fifth from nine starts, with the mare now unbeaten in four first-up attempts. 

Sent out the $3.40 favourite under Declan Bates, Chaillot nailed Begood Toya Mother ($21) on the line to score by a short-head, with Met Spectrum ($21) the same margin off third. 

Alexander said Chaillot was on track for another good preparation, although he held concerns at the 200m-mark of Saturday’s race. 

“She does it to us every prep,” Alexander said. “I think at about the 200 [metre mark] I walked away, and I thought ‘not today, she’s going to beat three or four home and be not a bad first-up run’ and then we’d move on. But then she just started to creep there, and probably in the last hundred I thought she is a bit weird and she might just sprout wings. 

“She knows exactly where the line is, so it was very good return and well done to Dec, he knows her very well. We’ve never had a horse with a turn-of-foot like that. It just gets you out of trouble all the time.” 

Alexander said the plan was likely to head to the Group 3 Ladies Day Vase (1600m) at Caulfield on October 13 and the Group 1 Empire Rose Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on October 30. Chaillot finished third in the Ladies Day Vase last year and fourth in Empire Rose. 

“She’s so good fresh that we might have to rethink it, but anyway, the job is done today,” Alexander said.