Randwick 1200m specialist Chautauqua can cement his favouritism for The Everest with a win in the Group 2 $500,000 Santos Coffee Premiere Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on Saturday.
Chautauqua is a three times winner over the Randwick 1200m and is currently the $5 favourite at Ladbrokes.com.au for $10m The Everest on October 14 over the same course and distance as the Premiere Stakes.
Top Sydney jockey Brenton Avdulla had his first race ride on the Team Hawkes trained Chautauqua when an eye catching first up seventh to Redzel in the Group 2 $200,000 Bowermans Office Furniture Shorts (1100m) at Randwick on September 16.
Avdulla is on board the super grey sprinter again this week and says he is the one beat on his first up effort.
“I saw him work (Tuesday) morning and he looks terrific. I’m sure he is going to improve again off Saturday but it is going to take a good one to beat him,” Avdulla told Racing New South Wales News Desk.
“He gives you a false sense in his trials. He doesn’t break any records so you’re not 100% sure but I was always promised that when I let him go race day and the cylinders fired up that he’d let rip, which he did.”
“We’re two weeks away from the main race but he couldn’t have been more impressive first up. With good horses a lot can happen one prep to another and you wonder if they have come back or not.”
Chautauqua has been marked as the $3.20 top pick for the Premiere Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au and if he can repeat his last to first wins that he unravels in the last three runnings of the Group 1 $2.5m Darley T J Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick, he will go into The Everest as a clear favourite.
Avdulla will let Chautauqua settle at the back of the field from barrier three while Tommy Berry on The Monstar (barrier 4) and Glyn Schofield on Ball Of Muscle (barrier 8) will ensure that there is plenty of pace up front which will give the big grey every opportunity to overrun the leaders in the run to the line.
The Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott trained English had drawn awkwardly at barrier nine in the twelve horse Premiere Stakes field but is second pick in the betting at $5 just ahead of Ben Smith’s smart mare In Her Time (barrier 1) at $5.50.
English also has had one run back from a spell for a fourth in the Shorts while In Her Time will be having her first start back since running third behind Tycoon Tara and Prompt Response in the Group 1 $500,000 Sky Racing Tattersall’s Tiara (1350m) at Doomben on June 24.