Super sprinter Chautauqua heads the field for the Group 1 $1m Darley Classic (1200m) at Flemington on the final day of the four day Melbourne Cup Carnival on Saturday.
The Team Hawkes trained Chautauqua is unbeaten from three starts this campaign and scored his second Group 1 win last start with a crushing two lengths victory in the $1m Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on October 23.
The Encosta De Lago grey’s other Group 1 victory was in the $2.5m Darley T J Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick during the Sydney Autumn Carnival earlier this year.
Top Melbourne jockey Dwayne Dunn replaces Tommy Berry and finds himself back on board Chautauqua this week after missing the winning ride in the Manikato Stakes because of suspension and will be able to give the gelding a nice run behind the pace from barrier four in the ten horse field.
Chautauqua has been installed as the odds on favourite at $1.55 with Ladbrokes.com.au and will have no problem running down the Flemington straight after recording three wins and two seconds over the same course and distance as the Darley Classic.
The next two in the betting, Terravista ($8) and Srikandi ($8.50), have drawn barrier one and two respectively and both should get a decent run behind the likely leader Buffering who has drawn barrier seven.
Hugh Bowman is back aboard Terravista after James McDonald rode him when seventh to Chautauqua in the Manikato Stakes while Kerrin McEvoy is sticking with Srikandi who resumed for a brave second in the Manikato Stakes.
Damian Browne will be teaming up again with the Robert Heathcote trained Buffering after the pair resumed for a blistering win in the Group 1 $450,000 City Jeep Moir Stakes (1000m) at Moonee Valley on October 2 before leading and winding up in fifth spot in the Manikato Stakes.
The Robert Smerdon trained Lumosty has drawn the outside gate at ten and returned from a spell in winning form when she finished too strong to beat Eclair Choice in the Group 2 $200,000 Dilmah Single Origin Teas Caulfield Sprint (1000m) at Caulfield on October 17.
Peter Moody will saddle up Flamberge (barrier 6) and Bring Me The Maid (barrier 3), Chris Waller also has two runners, Boban (barrier 8) and Delectation (barrier 9), and Joe Pride also has Terravista’s stablemate Tiger Tees (barrier 5).
Darley Classic market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $1.55 Chautauqua, $8 Terravista, $8.50 Srikandi, $13 Buffering, Lumosty, $15 Boban, $19 Delectation, $26 Flamberge, $51 Bring Me The Maid, $101 Tiger Tees.
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