Melbourne jockey Dwayne Dunn is certain that Chautauqua can regain his spot as the number one sprinter in the world when he lines up in the Group 2 $200,000 Schweppes Rubiton Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
The Team Hawkes trained Chautauqua was named the world’s best sprinter after scoring back to back wins in the Group 1 $2.5m Darley T J Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick during the 2015 and 2016 Autumn Carnivals.
The powerful grey sprinter then went to Hong Kong to win the Group 1 HK$10,000,000 Chairman’s Sprint Prize (1200m) at Sha Tin but on his return to Australia failed at his two runs at Moonee Valley during the 2016 Melbourne Spring Carnival.
Chautauqua could only manage a fourth to Extreme Choice in the Group 1 $500,000 Charter Keck Cramer Moir Stakes (1000m) and then struggled to make up enough ground on the leaders when seventh to Rebel Dane in the Group 1 $1m Manikato Stakes (1200m).
Dunn travelled to Sydney to partner Chautauqua in a 900m barrier trial at Rosehill on January 31 and the grey didn’t disappoint him with an encouraging third to stablemate Star Turn.
“We are expecting him to perform really well,” Dunn told G1X.
“The trial the other day sort of reassured he was back in town. His attitude was much better, he was just a little lethargic last time.
“Now he’s back up on his toes, back to his old self. We’re hoping that translate into his old form.
“I’d be disappointed if he doesn’t win. There’s no reason why he shouldn’t run well.”
Bookies at Ladbrokes.com.au agree with Dunn and have installed Chautauqua as the $2.70 favourite for the Rubiton Stakes ahead of the Darren Weir trained pair of Hellbent at $4.50 and El Divino at $7.
Early market order for the Rubiton Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au: $2.70 Chautauqua, $4.50 Hellbent, $7 El Divino, $8 Wild Rain, $9 Defcon, Sheidel, $15 I Am A Star, Super Cash, $21 Flamberge, $26 Fast “n” Rocking, $31 Miss Promiscuity, $51 Sunday Escape, $101 Taddei Tondo, $201 British General, $501 Chappie