Talented sprinter Chautauqua is set to start his autumn campaign on Saturday after being included in the 2015 Rubiton Stakes nominations.
Chautauqua has shown plenty of talent since he made his racing debut at the end of 2013, but he establish himself as one of the highest-rated sprinters in the world when he took out the Group 3 Bobbie Lewis Quality (1200m) at Flemington on September 2 and the Group 2 Gilgai Stakes (1200m) at the same venue on October 4 before he finished second behind Terravista in the Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m) during the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival.
Team Hawkes have kept their cards close to these chests regarding the path that Chautauqua will follow during the 2015 Melbourne Festival Of Racing, but the Encosta De Lago gelding is set to return to racing in the Group 2 Rubiton Stakes (1100m) this weekend before he returns to Group 1 level for the Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on March 14.
Lankan Rupee won the 2014 edition of the Rubiton Stakes before recording a maiden race win at Group 1 level in the Oakleigh Plate and trainer Danny Bougoure is hopeful that speedy filly Oakleigh Girl can replicate that feat in 2015.
Oakleigh Girl took out the Group 3 7News Stakes (1000m) and Listed Calaway Gal Stakes (1010m) before producing credible efforts in the Magic Millions Classic (1200m) and Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m) as a two-year-old, but is yet to be seen at the races as a three-year-old.
Bougoure opted to skip the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival with Oakleigh Girl in order to save her for the autumn and he is hoping that the filly can join her parents Snitzel and Miss Kournikova as winners of the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m).
The presence of Oakleigh Girl is set to assure there is plenty of early speed in the Rubiton Stakes, but she is sure to be challenged for the lead by popular filly Eloping.
Eloping has recorded six wins from 13 race starts since she made her racing debut at Bendigo in December of 2013 and has garnered a number of fans due to her brave front-running style and her consistency.
The Choisir filly took out the Group 3 Champagne Stakes (1200m) and Listed Blue Sapphire Stakes (1200m) during the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival and she was far from disgraced in both the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) and the Group 3 Gucci Stakes (1100m).
Other interesting horses in the Rubiton Stakes nominations include last start winner Tawteen, impressive trialer Atmospherical, Queensland-based Missy Longstocking, Paul Beshara-trained Richie’s Vibe and consistent sprinter Flamberge.