Chautauqua stamped himself as the best sprinter in the world with an arrogant victory in the 2015 Manikato Stakes at Moonee Valley tonight.
Chautauqua showed his typical lack of tactical speed and he was settled towards the tail of the field by jockey Tommy Berry in the early stages of the race, while Buffering was put under plenty of pressure by Rich Enuff.
The Encosta De Lago gelding was still at the tail of the field at the 300 metre mark and Buffering kicked away from his rivals at the top of the straight, but Berry was able to find clear running for Chautauqua at the top of the straight and he was far too good for his rivals to record an impressive Manikato Stakes win from Srikandi and Rebel Dane.
Berry had not partnered Chautauqua since he steered him to victory in the Group 1 T.J. Smith Stakes (1200m) earlier this year and he was quick to pay credit both Team Hawkes and regular jockey Dwayne Dunn.
“It is unbelievable,” Berry said.
“Full credit to Dwayne, I gave him a call before I got on the flight today and he gave me more information, he told me the horse inside out.
“I’ve obviously ridden him before, but never in Melbourne and thank you Dwayne I appreciate it so much mate.
“I got out at the right time and I can’t thank the Hawkes team enough.
“I’ve been riding a lot for them the last 12 months and I appreciate the support.”
Co-trainer Wayne Hawkes was adamant before the race that only bad luck would cost Chautauqua victory in the Manikato Stakes and he was delighted that his star sprinter was able to get the job done.
Hawkes confirmed that Chautauqua will have his next race start in the Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m) on the final day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival, but Hawkes implied that he was already looking ahead to the Hong Kong International Sprint and the potentially a Royal Ascot visit next year.
“It was a super effort,” Hawkes said.
“When he came to the corner and just pushed out it was a fantastic feeling.
“His record is pretty good, everybody knows this horse and the only time he has been beaten is when he had no luck.
“He is a great horse Exosphere, but he goes pretty good this bloke as well.
“He will go to Flemington and he will see how he pulls up, but I wouldn’t mind going to meet The Queen.”
Chautauqua could take on star three-year-old Exosphere in the Darley Classic, while last year’s winner Terravista is set to face his rival again after having no luck in the Manikato Stakes.