Chautauqua is currently available at 2015 Newmarket Handicap odds of $3 and is a narrow favourite in betting markets for the Group 1 event that will be held at Flemington on Saturday.
Chautauqua opened at a quote of $2.80 when the Newmarket Handicap field was released yesterday morning and he has drifted slightly since, but he is still favourite to record a maiden win at the highest level of racing this weekend.
The Encosta De Lago gelding was denied by Terravista in the Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m) at Flemington during the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival, but he returned to racing with a fast-finishing victory in the Group 2 Rubiton Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield on February 14.
Jockey Dwayne Dunn has formed a strong association with Chautauqua in the past 12 months and the talented hoop believes that the four-year-old will prove tough to beat when he returns to Flemington for the 2015 Newmarket Handicap.
If he (Chautauqua) is anywhere near them, I would expect him to out sprint them,” Dunn said,
“If he brings what we’ve seen of him do down the straight then he’s going to be hard beat.
“At this point in time he seems to be better down the straight and all his best form has been down the straight.”
Lankan Rupee returned to his best form with an outstanding victory in the Group 1 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes (1000m) at Flemington on February 21, but is only on the second line of Newmarket Handicap betting at a quote of $3.30.
The Redoute’s Choice gelding stamped himself as one of the best sprinters in the world when he took out the Newmarket Handicap last year and he has the chance to become the first horse to win the race in back-to-back years since Razor Sharp in 1983.
Talented three-year-old Brazen Beau chased Lankan Rupee home in the Black Caviar Lightning Stakes and the Chris Waller-trained galloper has remained steady at a quote of $4.80 since the Newmarket Handicap final field was released yesterday.
Brazen Beau needs to make up two and a half lengths to turn-the-tables on Lankan Rupee in the Newmarket Handicap, but he has the advantage of only having 52 kilograms on his back.
The forgotten horse heading into the Newmarket Handicap has been Terravista and he is currently on the fourth line of betting at a quote of $5.50 to record his second straight victory at Group 1 level.
Terravista upstaged Chautauqua and Lankan Rupee in the Darley Classic in the spring, but history is against the Captain Rio gelding in the Newmarket Handicap as no horse has won the Newmarket Handicap first-up since Polycrates in 1917.
The Newmarket Handicap odds of Lionel Cohen-trained Aeronautical ($51 out to $61) have lengthened since the final field was released yesterday, while Watermans Bay has been backed from $31 into $21 and is an early market mover with Ladbrokes.