Testing Time for Gallopin

Caulfield Cup contender Gallopin will be vying for a coveted spot in the field in today's Naturalism Stakes at Caulfield.

The winner of today's 2000m event is exempt for the BMW Caulfield Cup ballot ensuring one of the keenest races of the spring.

Gallopin's trainer Danny O'Brien is hoping to repeat his win in the race last year by Douro Valley who went on to run second to stablemate Master O'Reilly in the Caulfield Cup.

"Since last year's carnival we have had the Caulfield Cup in mind. But he won't be there if he doesn't start winning. It's a key race," he said.

O'Brien said the race was a genuine test for Gallopin.

"There is good depth in the race. They've done the right thing by making it an automatic qualifying race. It should be upgraded from Listed to a Group 3," he said.

Gallopin ($4.60 fav) is yet to win in two runs at Caulfield but O'Brien isn't concerned by his first-up flop at the track.

"It was a sticky track, on top of the ground he'll be ok."

O'Brien said plan-B could include Saturday week's Group 1 Metropolitan Handicap (2400m) at Randwick.

By Tim Habel, Herald Sun

Photo by Bruno Cannatelli

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