Promising colt Chautauqua gave James McDonald and Team Hawkes a feature race double by taking out the 2014 Hawkesbury Guineas this afternoon.
Chautauqua was settled at the tail of the field by McDonald in the early stages of the race and he rode the Encosta De Lago gelding with plenty of patience while saving ground coming around the final turn.
The three-year-old showed an impressive turn-of-foot when asked for an extra effort by McDonald and he hit the front at the 100 metre mark to score a strong win from the unlucky Katie’s Cove and Barbed.
Team Hawkes and McDonald combined to win the Group 3 Hawkesbury Gold Cup with Leebaz earlier in the day and John Hawkes was quick to pay credit to the in-form hoop, but admitted that the race did not go exactly to plan.
“He didn’t begin the best, which really wasn’t our plan, and we were hoping to be a bit more forward,” Hawkes said.
“I always told him that you never panic and he is very patient and he knows what our horses can do.
“He is a super young rider and he is a very promising young horse.”
The Hawkesbury Guineas victory was just the second race win for Chautauqua, but the three-year-old stamped himself as a horse to watch with two strong performances in the Listed Gosford Guineas (1200m) and Group 2 Royal Sovereign Stakes (1200m).
Hawkes believes that there is still plenty of improvement in front of Chautauqua and is confident that he has the ability to perform at the highest level of racing as he matures into a more experienced horse.
“He still does a few things wrong, so when he puts it all together he is going to be a lovely horse next season,” Hawkes said.
“He does love the heavy ground, which is a plus because you often get a lot of wet tracks, and he is only lightly raced; we have looked after him.
“He is a well-bred young horse and the owners have been fantastic; they have let us be patient with him and they are getting the results.
“If he pulls up well he will go to Scone for the Inglis Classic and then he will go to the paddock.
“I think that he will be a very promising horse when he turns four.”
Roger James-trained filly Katie’s Cove had no luck in the run and is expected to head to Queensland for a 2014 Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival campaign.