Trainer Wayne Hawkes hasn’t ruled out a start in the Group 1 $3m The Star Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Randwick on April 4 with his stable’s star sprinter Chautauqua.
Chautauqua is widely regarded as one of the best sprinters currently racing in Australia and resumed from a spell to win the Group 2 $200,000 Schweppes Rubiton Stakes over 1100m at Caulfield on February 14.
But Hawkes, who trains in partnership with his father John and brother Michael, believes the Encosta De Lago four year old could be stretched to 1600m.
“And who says Chautauqua can’t run in a Doncaster Handicap?’’ Wayne Hawkes told The Herald Sun.
“He might. Chautauqua is a seven furlong (1400m) horse and might be a miler (1600m).”
Chautauqua showed his class as a top line sprinter when narrowly beaten by Terravista in the Group 1 $1m Darley Classic (1200m) at Flemington on the last day of the 2014 Melbourne Cup Carnival.
And the grey gelding has been installed the favourite for both the Group 1 $1m Lexus Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on March 14 and the Group 1 $2.5m Darley T J Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on the same day as the Doncaster Mile, the first day of ‘The Championships’.
The Hawkes Team also prepares speedster Deep Field who is also high up in the market order for both the Newmarket Handicap and the T J Smith Stakes and is stepping out the first time this Autumn Carnival in the Group 1 $500,000 Black Caviar Lightning (1000m) at Flemington on Saturday.
Deep Filed is undefeated from five starts and will be trying to keep his unbeaten record intact when he takes on the world’s equal top rated sprinter Lankan Rupee in the Black Caviar Lightning.
While Deep Field and Chautauqua are likely to meet Lankan Rupee again in the Newmarket Handicap, Hawkes would still prefer his sprinting duo to be separated and that could happen in Sydney if they decide to step Chautauqua up to the 1600m of the Doncaster Mile leaving Deep Field to contest the T J Smith Stakes.
“I’d prefer that they’d never clash because we’re trying to win two races,” Hawkes said.
“We ran him (Chautauqua) in the 1100m last week and quite easily could have run him over 1200m (first-up).”
“The 1200m would probably have suited him better and that’s why we didn’t want to run him in the Lightning. And Deep Field is the sprinter and that’s why we are racing him in the Lightning.
“We are not dodging, but just putting them both in the right races.”
The lightly raced Chautauqua has won five of his eleven race starts including a win over 1400m in the Group 3 $150,000 Blacktown Workers Hawkesbury Guineas at Hawkesbury in May last year.
Early Doncaster Mile markets with Ladbrokes.com.au have Chautauqua marked at $15.
Newmarket Handicap market order: $3.20 Chautauqua, $5 Terravista, $5.50 Deep Field, $7 Lankan Rupee.
T J Smith market order: $4.80 Chautauqua, Terravista, $7 Deep Field, Lankan Field.