Star sprinter Chautauqua has arrived in Hong Kong in good order ahead of his appearance in the Group 1 Chairman’s Sprint (1200m) at Sha Tin Racecourse on May 1st.
Chautauqua has undoubtedly been the country’s and perhaps the world’s best short course specialist through the last 18 months and returned to racing this time with a blistering performance for success in the Group 1 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes (1000m) at Flemington on February 20th.
Failing to fire while still managing third in the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) on March 12th, the son of Encosta De Lago confirmed his passage abroad with another incredible performance to successfully defend his crown in the Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) on Day 1 of The Championships.
Co-trainer Michael Hawkes told Racing Ahead that Chautauqua took to travel like a seasoned veteran and is primed for a return to work in the lead-up to the 2016 Chairman’s Sprint.
“He actually travelled very, very good,” Hawkes said.
“I’m actually quite surprised at the moment [by] how good he got off the plane, which is fantastic.
“He’s travelled well, he does look superb, he’s done everything right so far.
“I did travel with him myself … [I was] there with him most of the way.
“Anytime during the journey you’re able to get up and check [on him] as often as you like.
“From door to door, from the time we walked out of the barn at home to the time we walked into the barn here in Hong Kong, it was thirteen-and-a-half hours.
“We gave him a good bit of work on Monday morning, just to take the edge off him to get on the plane, so he probably won’t do anything now until the end of the week.
“He’ll have another serious hit-out on Tuesday before the race on the following Sunday.”
Hawkes confirmed the stable is also yet to confirm whether Tommy Berry or Dwayne Dunn will take the ride on Chautauqua in the Chairman’s Sprint.
“We’re going to leave that up to Dad … Wayne and I have kept out of that contention,” Hawkes said.
“We are a loyal stable to that degree with our riders, and it is a very, very hard decision to make.”
Chautauqua has posted eleven wins and eight minors through his impressive twenty-one start career since debuting to racing in the spring of 2013.