The Team Hawkes trained Chautauqua will be chasing his third straight win in the 2017 Group 1 $2.5m Darley T J Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on the first day of ‘The Championships’ on April 1 after being one of the seventy-five horses listed in the nominations.
Chautauqua was crowned the world’s best sprinter when he produced his whirlwind finish to claim back to back wins in the T J Smith Stakes in 2016 before going on to win the Group 1 HK$10,000,000 Chairman’s Sprint Prize (1200m) at Sha Tin in Hong Kong on May 1.
Team Hawkes has also nominated their brilliant three year old Star Turn and tough five year old Kaepernick.
Caulfield trainer Mick Price has a strong hand with his two top class three year olds Flying Artie and Extreme Choice as well as Secret Agenda nominated for the T J Smith Stakes.
Extreme Choice has already beaten the older sprinters in winning the Group 1 $500,000 Charter Keck Cramer Moir Stakes (1000m) at Moonee Valley during the 2016 Melbourne Spring Carnival while Flying Artie proved to be best three year old during the Spring with his win in Group 1 $500,000 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) down the straight at Flemington.
Golden Rose winner Astern heads up trainer John O’Shea’s four T J Smith Stakes nominations while Sheidel, Faatinah and Fast ‘N’ Rocking headline the seven nominations from the Lindsay Park Team of David and Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig.
Chautauqua has been installed the early favourite for the T J Smith Stakes at $5 with Ladbrokes.com.au ahead of Warwick Farm trainer Bryce Heys’ emerging sprinting star Speith and John O’Shea’s Astern who share the second line of betting at $7.