The overnight odds for the Group 1 $1m Darley Classic (1200m) at Flemington today have virtually remained unchanged with emerging star Chautauqua still the clear cut favourite.
This morning’s market at Ladbrokes.com.au for the Darley Classic have Chautauqua the clear cut top pick at $2.30, easing slightly from $2.25 while Mick Price’s star Lankan Rupee is marked at $5.50, drifting half a point from his opening quote of $5.
Next in the betting is Europe’s number one sprinter Slade Power who has attracted plenty of support and after opening up at $7.50 at acceptance time on Wednesday, is now in a point to $6 while Queensland’s top sprinter Buffering remains friendless at $14.
Chautauqua from the stables of Michael, Wayne and John Hawkes is unbeaten from two runs this campaign and is stepping up to Group 1 company for the first but his regular rider Dwayne Dunn says that he is ready to take over the mantle of Australian top sprinter.
“It’s his biggest challenge,” Dunn told Racing Network.
“He’s got to step up to the plate. Coming through the grades is one thing, but the step up to a Group 1 is another.
“He’s showed he should be able to do it, but until he does it we won’t know, but from what he’s shown us we know what an effective horse he is down the straight.
“I’d expect him to be very competitive.”
Chautauqua has showed his liking for the straight Flemington 1200m course with both his wins there in the Group 3 $150,000 Bobby Lewis Quality (1200m) on September 13 and followed that up with a win in the Group 2 $200,000 Gilgai Stakes (1200m) on October 4.
Lankan Rupee is also a winner up the Flemington straight, taking out the Group 1 $1m Lexus Newmarket Handicap (1200m) during the Autumn Carnival, and was back in the Group 1 winner’s stall last start with a doggish win in the $1m Sportingbet Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on October 24.