Gallopin to bypass Caulfield for Sydney

Danny O'Brien has abandoned BMW Caulfield Cup plans for promising stayer Gallopin, who will head to Sydney for Saturday's Group 1 Metropolitan Handicap.

Gallopin, who will leave for Sydney on Thursday night, needs a feature win to boost his chances of getting a start in the major cups.

He is equal 36th in order for the Caulfield Cup and 51st in order for the Emirates Melbourne Cup.

But O'Brien said it was evident Gallopin, $35 in latest TAB Sportsbet Caulfield Cup markets, was a much better Flemington horse and the Melbourne Cup was his target race.

"We're not that fussed about the Caulfield Cup. Even if he wins the Metropolitan, he'll go to the Moonee Valley Cup, then Melbourne Cup," O'Brien said yesterday.

Danny Nikolic will ride Gallopin, the $7.50 second favourite for the Group 1 Metropolitan (2400m).

"His one run at 2500m was his best win in the Bagot (Handicap). I'm looking forward to getting him out to 2400m again," Nikolic said.

Gallopin is one of three O'Brien nominations for Saturday's Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington, but he will rely on Master O'Reilly and Alexander Of Hales.

O'Brien said he was unconcerned by a lacklustre gallop from last year's Caulfield Cup winner Master O'Reilly at Moonee Valley on Friday night.

"I'll judge him on what he does on Saturday. Alexander Of Hales was run off his feet in the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes, so we'll give him a chance to get into his tempo," O'Brien said.

There were 24 nominations for the Turnbull, headlined by Weekend Hussler.

By Tim Habel

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Photo by Bruno Cannatelli

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