Multiple Group 1 champion Chautauqua has been included as a late nomination for the 2017 Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Royal Randwick on Day 1 of The Championships.
Chautauqua has saluted five times at the highest level of racing in both Australia and abroad, but the talented grey is yet to win a race at a distance greater than 1400m; instead kept to sprinting distances on account of a blistering turn of foot.
Having clearly lost his ability to swallow up his rivals late when he failed to run and finished third in the Group 2 Rubiton Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield last weekend, co-trainer John Hawkes said that his initial target, the Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) remains on the radar for Chautauqua, but the team will consider stretching the horse out over a greater distance.
“The TJ is still in the mix. It just gives us an option now that we never had before. His next run or two will determine where he goes,” Hawkes told Racing NSW.
“People forget he won a Hawkesbury Guineas over 1400m and he should have won the All Aged over 1400m when Dissident beat him.
“We’re still deciding where he goes next, whether it’s Sydney or Melbourne we’ll make our minds up probably next week, but he is getting older now.”
Chautauqua has posted twelve wins and a further nine minors through his twenty-five career starts so far, for more than $5.5 million in prize money.
Undoubtedly at his best through the autumn of 2016, Chautauqua resumed for a smart win in the Group 1 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes (1000m) and finished third in the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m), before successfully defending his crown in the TJ Smith Stakes.
The Encosta De Lago gelding’s most recent win came when he delivered a comfortable defeat to some of the world’s best sprinters in the Group 1 Chairman’s Sprint Prize (1200m) at Hong Kong’s Sha Tin Racecourse in May.
Chautauqua remains a $6 favourite in early TJ Smith Stakes betting markets at Ladbrokes.