Gailo step closer to miracle return
HAVING already evaded an injury-enforced retirement once in his career, nine-year-year warrior Gailo Chop has taken a significant step towards another miraculous return to racing.
The multiple Group 1-winning galloper pleased trainer Matthew Williams in his first official hitout in more than 15 months at the Cranbourne trials on Monday in his comeback from a second tendon injury.
Williams said Gailo Chop pulled up "terrific" after he finished third in his 1190m heat by less than a length.
Gailo Chop, who hasn't raced since running second to Winx in last year's Queen Elizabeth Stakes, is scheduled to have two more trials to have him ready for the Makybe Diva Stakes at Flemington on September 14.
If all goes to plan, Gailo Chop will then go to the Underwood Stakes (1800m), and maybe the Caulfield Stakes (2000m), before the Cox Plate (2040m) on October 26.
Williams has his fingers crossed Gailo Chop can make it to a third Cox Plate but couldn't be happier with his progress.
"His tendons and all that are good. No changes and no heat there, so really happy with how he's come through it," Williams said.
"I thought he was good. He's only 80 per cent fit. He's got another two trials before he kicks off.
"Importantly Mark (Zahra) was really rapt. He said he surprised him with how he went.
"We've been confident with his scans and the vet was very confident with the way everything was going.
"But you could be one gallop away (from re-injuring the tendon). You just don't know (but) so far, so good."
Williams, who took over the training of Gailo Chop in January, explained racing in the anticlockwise direction would help ease the pressure on the tendon in the off foreleg.
He said Gailo Chop spent months on the treadmill building up his speed during his rehabilitation.
Gailo Chop suffered his first tendon injury in Dubai in March 2016 before returning 17 months later, winning the Group 1 Caulfield Stakes and Ranvet Stakes.
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