Three times T J Smith Stakes winner Chautauqua is no closer to resuming for the 2018 Autumn Carnival after refusing to jump again with the rest of the field in a 900m barrier trial at Rosehill today.
Senior Part Owner Rupert Legh said that he received the unwanted news from co-trainer John Hawkes while he was on the tarmac at Sydney airport that Chautauqua again refused to leave the barriers with the rest of the field after doing the same thing twice at the Randwick barrier trials last week.
“It wasn’t the news I had expected to hear, John (Hawkes) saying he stayed in the gates,” Legh told RSN’s Racing Pulse.
Legh hasn’t given up hope of Chautauqua improving his barrier manners and has full confidence in the Hawkes Racing Team of John, Michael and Wayne finding a solution that gets the gray flash back on track.
“At the end of the day you have this great horse,” Legh said.
“At the end of the day I am sure we are in the right hands with John. We will find a solution, we will get him back out there.”
Legh said the solution could be for Hong Kong based Australian jockey Tommy Berry to come home to sought out the seven year old and renew the partnership.
“It might be one of those fairy tale types of stories. He might want Tommy Berry back on board,” Legh said.
“Tommy has already phoned and has left a message for me. He wants to come back and get on the horse and show that it might just be a peculiar thing like a jockey and horse partnership. Who knows it may well be.”
Berry has ridden Chautauqua on eight occasions for five Group 1 wins which includes the last three Group 1 $2.5m Darley T J Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick during The Championships.
If Chautauqua is going the defend his title and make it four T J Smith Stakes wins on the trot, he needs to get his barrier manners resolved and be cleared by Racing New South Wales Stewards so he can get back to the races and have a run before the first day of The Championships to be fit for his April 7 assignment.
Team Hawkes will now head back to the stewards’ room to find out if Chautauqua has to successfully barrier trial once or twice before being cleared to return to the race track.
The early market order for the T J Smith Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au has Chautauqua on the third line of betting at $13 with In Her Time and Merchant Navy behind Redzel at $3.50 and Vega Magic at $11.
Early betting for the 2018 T J Smith Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au: $3.50 Redzel, $11 Vega Magic, $13 Chautauqua, In Her Time, Merchant Navy, $15 Kementari, $17 Alizee, Ittetsu, Redkirk Warrior, $21 English, $26 Catchy, Clearly Innocent, Hey Doc, Librisa Breeze, She Will Reign, Trapeze Artist, Washington DC, $34 or better the rest.