Banned sprinter Chautauqua could jump in the last remaining slot for the $13m The Everest (1200m) at Randwick on October 13 if he is cleared to race again with a clean getaway in a special barrier trial in between races at The Valley on Moir Stakes Race Night on Friday.
Chautauqua has been barred from competing in races after refusing to leave the barriers on seven occasions and was ordered by Racing New South Wales Stewards to jump cleanly with the rest of the field in two official jump outs or barrier trials before being allowed to compete in a race again.
The Team Hawkes trained star sprinter is halfway to achieving his goal after successfully leaving the barriers in a jump out at Flemington last Friday and The Everest slot owner Neil Werret hasn’t ruled out Chautauqua racing for him and his partner Max Whitby if he successfully jumps from the starting gates in his barrier trial on Moir Stakes Night and is reinstated to race by the stewards.
“He’s definitely in the mix,” Werrett told RSN 927’s Racing Pulse.
“The Hawkes team is a well-oiled machine and very good with their horses and we’ve got a lot of faith in the Hawkes team so if they say he’s ready to roll, he’ll definitely come into calculations.
“He’s definitely one that can win the race.”
Regular rider Tommy Berry was in the saddle at Flemington and was relieved that the grey jumped on par with the other three horses in his heat.
“He’s come out slower than that on race day, that’s for sure,” Berry said.
“He jumped like he normally would and had an easy time out the back.
“We weren’t out there to break any records.”
Chautauqua is the winner of thirteen of his thirty-two race starts, which includes six at Group 1 level and has earned in excess of $8.8 million in prizemoney and always had his backer’s hearts in their mouths with his come from behind flying finish which typically saw him come from last to gain victory in the last few strides.
The eight year’s flying finish saw him win three consecutive Group 1 $2.5m Darley T J Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick in 2015, 2016 and 2017 and he also beat a classy field of international sprinters in Hong Kong with his trademark last to first finish in the 2016 Group 1 HK$10,000,000 The Chairman’s Sprint Prize (1200m) at Sha Tin.
Confirmed runners for the 2018 The Everest: Trapeze Artist (Aquis, slot holder), In Her Time (TAB), Redzel (Yulong Investments), Brave Smash (Chris Waller Racing), Shoals (The Star), English (Damion Flower), Santa Ana Lane (Inglis), U S Navy Flag (Coolmore), Vega Magic (James Harron) and Invincible Star (GPI Racing), Nature Strip (ATC) with one remaining slot yet to be filled.
Early betting for the 2018 The Everest at Ladbrokes.com.au: $5 Trapeze Artist, $6 Redzel, $6.50 Vega Magic, $7 Nature Strip, $12 Santa Ana Lane, In Her Time, $14 U S Navy Flag, Invincible Star, $18 Shoals, $21 Chautauqua English, $26 Brave Smash, Jungle Cat, $34 Pierata, Graff, $41 Home Of The Brave, $51 Le Romain, Written By, Zousain, $61 Viddora, $101 Kemono, Voodoo Lad