Champion sprinter Chautauqua is half way home to lifting a racing ban after bouncing out of the barriers in an 800m jump out at Flemington this morning.
Chautauqua has been barred from racing after failing to leave the barriers on four occasions during his 2018 Autumn Carnival preparation and was required by New South Wales stewards to pass two barrier tests before being allowed to race again.
Hong Kong based jockey Tommy Berry, who has partnered the grey flash to five Group 1 victories, made a special trip to Melbourne to try and coax Chautauqua out the barriers and the reunion was successful.
“Probably the best he’s ever jumped for me,” Berry said.
The Hawkes Racing Team of John, Michael and Wayne Hawkes will now take Chautauqua back to Sydney where he will have a barrier trial at Rosehill on July 23 and if he passes that test will be set for a first up run in the Group 2 $200,000 Missile Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on August 4.
Co-trainer Wayne Hawkes said if Chautauqua is reinstated to be able to race again Berry would be his jockey over the Spring Carnival that will hopefully include a start in the $13m The Everest (1200m) at Randwick on October 13.
“If he can get through everything and do what he does, Tommy will definitely be riding him,” Wayne Hawkes told racing.com.
Berry and Chautauqua have teamed up in the past for five Group 1 wins together which included back to back wins in the 2016 and 2017 Group 1 $2.5m T J Smith Stakes which is run over the same course and distance as The Everest.
“He’s a genuine superstar capable of anything on his day,” Berry said.
“I’ll ride him in the jump out and then stick with him when he resumes in Sydney, where The Everest will be a target race.
“The Everest looks an even race at the moment, no standout and if he returns somewhere near his best, he’ll beat them.
“If he’s got it in him to run somewhere near his best, then Hawkesy will get him there.”
Chautauqua is the winner of thirteen of his thirty-two race starts, six of them at Group 1 level, and has earned in excess of $8.8 million in prizemoney.