Chautauqua produced a simply outstanding turn-of-foot to record a devastating victory in the 2016 TJ Smith Stakes at Royal Randwick this afternoon.
Jockey Tommy Berry settled Chautauqua at the tail of the field in the early stages of the TJ Smith Stakes and it looked as though the son of Encosta De Lago had far too much work to do at the 400 metre mark.
Fell Swoop hit the front at the 200 metre mark and looked as though he was going to record a maiden win at the highest level of racing, but Chautauqua leapt out of the ground late and finished well over the top of his rivals to record his most impressive victory to date.
Berry’s victory on Chautauqua in the TJ Smith Stakes completed a race-to-race double after he took out the Australian Derby on Tavago and the leading hoop said that he was thrilled to ride so well on such a big day.
“I can’t tell you how happy I am to be where I am at the moment,” Berry said.
“There are a few times people have doubted me when I have gone off the boil and to show up on a day like today and get the winners on the board I am so happy.
“They thought that O’Shea’s horse was the one to beat, but John gave me very confident instructions and in the first half of the race to forget about the race and just ride your own bit and from the 600 pick him up.
“If we take him overseas we are going to have a ride.
“He is just a machine.”
Team Hawkes have never lost faith in Chautauqua despite his defeat in the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) and co-trainer Wayne Hawkes was always confident that the son of Encosta De Lago was the best horse in the race.
Hawkes confirmed that Chautauqua will head to Hong Kong to take on Buffering in the Group 1 Chairman’s Sprint (1200m) on May 1 and he said that if the popular grey wins that he will head to Royal Ascot.
“He is the best horse,” Hawkes said.
“It is always easy to say that when you stand here at the number 1 stall, but he is the best horse.
“Even in Melbourne we kept saying that this was Grand Final Day and this was the one that we wanted.
“That is the way to ride him and home he goes.
“We are going, we were going in September, but he was in Melbourne at Flemington, went for a jog around the block and sprained his ankle.
“We are going to Hong Kong and if we win Hong Kong then we will look at England.”
Fell Swoop produced another stellar effort to finish second from English and Our Boy Malachi, while Exosphere was one of the first horses beaten.