The world’s highest rated sprinter Chautauqua will face eight opponents when he kicks off his Spring Carnival campaign in the Group 1 $500,000 Charter Keck Cramer Moir Stakes (1000m) at Moonee Valley on Friday night.
Chautauqua will be having his first race start since scoring a stunning last to first win in the Group 1 HK$10,000,000 Chairman’s Sprint Prize (1200m) at Sha Tin in Hong Kong on May 1,
Top Melbourne jockey Dwayne Dunn takes over from Tommy Berry and the grey has drawn midfield at barrier five.
Co-trainer Wayne Hawkes said that Chautauqua has had a trouble free preparation leading into the Spring and will be the one to beat again.
“He’s fit enough to win. If you’re talking percentages, and I’ve yet to see a percentage reader, he could probably go in at 60 per cent and still be good enough but on the night you still need everything to go right and he doesn’t need good luck, he just doesn’t need any bad luck,” Hawkes told racing.com.
“Everything’s been good. He’s been pretty push-button over the last 12 to 18 months and it’s been business as usual with him and he’s a happy horse,” Hawkes “He’s got stronger again. He can’t get much stronger than what he has but he keeps on improving and every other preparation it’s meant he’s improved again when he’s gotten stronger so you’re delving into uncharted territory, I mean how much better could Chautauqua be?
“He doesn’t have to improve but going on his appearance and physicality he’s done better again.”
There is certain be a ton of pace on in the early and middle stages, which will suit Chautauqua, with speedsters Buffering, Ball Of Muscle, Redzel, Wild Rain and even Extreme Choice from the outside barrier capable of putting plenty of pressure on up front.
Queensland’s favourite sprinter Buffering is lining up in his fifth Moir Stakes and is looking for his fourth win in the Group 1 sprint.
Trainer Robert Heathcote said that he has Buffering back to his best after the nine year old pulled up lame after finishing last of fourteen behind Chautauqua in the Chairman’s Sprint Prize.
The seven time Group 1 winner has drawn barrier six with regular rider Damian Browne in the saddle again.
The Joe Pride trained Ball Of Muscle finished second to Buffering in last year’s Moir Stakes and will get the chance to match motors again with the Queensland sprinter following a first up second to Takedown in the Group 2 $200,000 The Bowermans Office Furniture The Shorts (1100m) at Randwick on September 17.
Ball Of Muscle has drawn barrier three with Kerrin McEvoy in the saddle again.
The speedy Redzel has drawn the rails with Make Zahra to ride again and is chasing a hat track following all the way wins in the $85,000 July Sprint (1100m) at Canterbury on July 23 and in the Group 3 $150,000 The Resimax Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield on August 27.
Wild Rain is also the winner of her last two starts and is coming off an all the way win in the Group 2 $200,000 Mitty’s Racing Colours McEwen Stakes (1000m) at Moonee Valley on September 3, one of three wins over the same course and distance as the Moir Stakes.
The Mark Kavanagh trained mare has drawn barrier eight with Stephen Baster to ride.
Heatherly is also a three times winner over the Moonee Valley 1000m course and made up ground late to finish third to Wild Rain in the McEwen Stakes.
Damian Lane will continue his association with Heatherly who has drawn barrier seven.
Lucky Hussler from the Darren Weir stable will resume with Brad Rawiller from barrier two and while the he has good fresh record, he is yet to win over 1000m.
Trainer Mick Price has pitted his brilliant three year old Extreme Choice up against the older sprinters and the colt will jump from the outside of the field with Craig Newitt in charge of the reins again.
Chautauqua has been installed the $2.20 favourite for the Moir Stakes with Ladbrokes.com.au ahead of Extreme Choice at $4.60, Buffering at $6.50 and Lucky Hussler at $7.
Market order for the Moir Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au: $2.20 Chautauqua, $4.60 Extreme Choice, $6.50 Buffering, $7 Lucky Hussler, $13 Heatherly, $20 Ball Of Muscle, Redzel, Wild Rain, $34 Chloe In Paris.