The world’s highest rated sprinter Chautauqua is ready to fire first up in the Group 2 $200,000 Bowermans Office Furniture Shorts (1100m) at Randwick on Saturday.
Chautauqua has won five of his eight first up efforts and co-trainer Michael Hawkes said that the flashy grey has done enough in his preparation to be a real force in the field of top line sprinters.
“I think he is (forward enough to win first-up),” Michael Hawkes told racing.com.
“He’s in a great frame of mind, physically he looks unbelievable, mentally he’s phenomenal, and he’s the Chautauqua of what we’ve always known him to be.”
“The biggest key is the maturity, and hopefully that will continue on for a little bit yet.”
Chautauqua, who is prepared by the Hawkes Racing Team of John, Michael and Wayne Hawkes, is the winner of the last three runnings of the Group 1 $2.5m Darley T J Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick in spectacular fashion, coming from the tail of the field to overwhelm the leaders in the shadows of the post in each of his wins.
The seven year old will get the race run to his liking with speedsters Redzel and Ball Of Muscle to put plenty of pressure on up front and he seems well in at the weights under the set weights plus penalties format.
“The way the race is with the weight structure, he’s well in at the weights,” Michael Hawkes said..
“Obviously it’s 1100m first-up, generally as a rule he always does most of his work in Melbourne, but obviously with The Everest in mind, we’re back in Sydney.
“He’s forward enough, he’s done everything right, we’re happy with him, obviously there’s a lot more improvement to come.”
Brenton Avdulla has got the call up to partner Chautauqua in the Shorts and in the upcoming $10m The Everest (1200m) at Randwick on October 14 after regular rider Tommy Berry, who is now contracted to ride in Hong Kong, was unable to gain a release to ride in Sydney on The Everest Race Day.
Chautauqua has drawn barrier eight in the nine horse field for the Shorts but this is no problem with the wide gate as Avdulla will settled the Randwick specialist in his familiar position at the tail of the field.
Chautauqua will be looking to cement his spot at the top of market order for the $10m The Everest and is currently sharing favouritism at $5 with the Lindsay Park trained Vega Magic at Ladbrokes.com.au.
Newly slotted Everest rival Redzel heads the betting for the Shorts at $2.40 with Chautauqua the second pick at $3.70 just head of the Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott trained English at $3.90.