Rosehill trackman John Moc has declared Chautauqua a ‘special’ to the win the Group 1 $400,000 Schweppes All Aged Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on Saturday.
Moc was on hand on Thursday to see the Team Hawkes trained Chautauqua run the best of the morning on the Pro Ride track, running 11.71s for the final 200m of his 1000m gallop, clocking an overall time of 1.10.77 and his last 600m in 40s.
“The grey four year old by Encosta De Lago has been in great order since the win for Team Hawkes and looks a special to win the Group 1 ATC All Aged Stakes at Royal Randwick,” Moc wrote in his Sportsman column.
Chautauqua was rewarded for some consistent performances when he came from last on the corner to win the Group 1 $2.5m Darley T J Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on April 6, the postponed first day of ‘The Championships’.
The super grey sprinter narrowly missed out on winning at Group 1 level at his first attempt at the elite level when second to Terravista in the Group 1 $1m Darley Classic (1200m) at Flemington on the final day of the 2014 Melbourne Cup Carnival.
The four year old’s form this preparation has been first class with a first up win in the Group 2 $200,000 Schweppes Rubiton Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield on February 14 followed by a second to Brazen Beau in the Group 1 $1m Lexus Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on March 14 before his T J Smith Stakes win.
In-form jockey Tommy Berry was having his first ride on Chautauqua in the T J Smith Stakes and will back aboard in the All Aged Stakes and is confident he can repeat the effort especially after drawing the inside gate.
“He might be a bit closer over 1400m from his good barrier and horses like Terravista are going to have to really turn it around to beat him,” Berry said.
“As he showed in the TJ, Chautauqua is good enough to overcome problems in his races and he shouldn’t have been able to do what he did that day.”
The Joe Pride trained Terravista settled in front of Chautauqua in the T J Smith Stakes but couldn’t match it with the grey as he went past at the 100m, ending up in third spot with Melbourne sprinter Lord Of The Sky splitting the pair.
Chautauqua remains at the top of the market order with Ladbrokes.com.au and is the clear cut favourite at $3 ahead of Terravista at $5.50 and William Reid Stakes winner Lucky Hussler at $6.50.
All Aged Stakes market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $3 Chautauqua, $5.50 Terravista, $6.50 Lucky Hussler, $8 Shooting To Win, Wandjina, $10 Dissident, $15 Scissor Kick, $21 Generalife, $26 Rebel Dane, $41 Laser Hawk, Fontelina, $51 Famous Seamus, $61 Weary.