T J Smith Stakes winner Chautauqua has been installed the favourite for Saturday’s Group 1 $400,000 Schweppes All Aged Stakes (1400m) at Randwick when the final field was released today.
The Team Hawkes trained Chautauqua is the $3 top pick at Ladbrokes.com.au following his last to first win over Lord Of The Sky in the Group 1 $2.5m Darley T J Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on April 6 on the postponed first day of ‘The Championships’.
Co-trainer Wayne Hawkes said that the grey would have no trouble stepping up to the 1400m on the weekend and he even thinks that 1600m is not beyond him next campaign.
“He has run over the 1400 in the Scone Guineas last year and he should have won and I have said it before that he could be a Doncaster Handicap horse,” Hawkes said.
“Everybody said that he was just a straight horse and when he won so well up the straight in the spring what happened was we said that we would just utilize it to our advantage for only that reason.
“It will be great to see him get to 1400 and it will be a completely different race to the other day.
“I am sure that he will still be favourite, but there are some big shots like Dissident, Shooting To Win and Wandjina and a lot of good horses that are going to be running.
“It is certainly going to be one of the races of the Carnival.”
Chautauqua is racing in outstanding form with two wins and a second from three Autumn Carnival outings and deserves to be at the top of the market order for the weight for age feature on the final day of the Sydney Autumn Carnival.
The Encosta De Lago stallion scored a stunning first up win in the Group 2 $200,000 Schweppes Rubiton Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield on February 14 before chasing home Chris Waller’s brilliant three year old Brazen Beau in the Group 1 $1m Lexus Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on March 14.
The second spot in the betting is up for grabs with Terravista ($6), Lucky Hussler ($6.50), Shooting To Win ($7.50) and Wandjina ($8.50) all in contention.
The Joe Pride trained Terravista is coming off the same preparation as Chautauqua with thirds in both the Newmarket Handicap and the T J Smith Stakes while three year old Shooting To Win will have the blinkers back on after finishing fifth as favourite to Real Impact in the Group 1 $1m George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill on March 21.
Gai Waterhouse’s three year old Wandjina is coming off a Group 1 win after leading all of the way in the $500,000 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington on March 7 and Lucky Hussler also comes to Randwick as a last start Group 1 winner after storming home to take out the $400,000 Brown Baldwin William Reid Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on March 27.
All Aged Stakes market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $3 Chautauqua, $6 Terravista, $6.50 Lucky Hussler, $7.50 Shooting To Win, $8.50 Wandjina, $11 Dissident, $15 Scissor Kick, $21 Generalife, $26 Rebel Dane, $41 Laser Hawk, Fontelina, $51 Famous Seamus, $61 Weary.