Leading Australian sprinter Chautauqua has been ruled out of the 2015 Hong Kong Sprint after suffering a minor injury at track work this morning.
Co-trainer Wayne Hawkes revealed yesterday that Chautauqua was a 90 percent chance to make the trip to Hong Kong for the feature sprint, but he said that the stable would not hesitate to call off the trip.
Michael Hawkes told Racing.com that Chautauqua had suffered a minor joint injury that would not affect his racing career, but was enough not to risk him on the testing flight to Hong Kong.
“It become apparent when he cooled down after track work this morning that he had twigged one of his joints in front,” Hawkes said.
“The injury is not a major problem, it is more a wear-and-tear type, but it means that he would not be 100 per cent fit for Hong Kong.
“It is what it it, it is much better to have happened now rather than after you had arrived over there.
“We have no interest in going over there for a holiday; we are only going to win.
“To win, you would need to leave Australia 110 per cent and that wouldn’t be the case now.
“He will have a nice break now and then come back into work for the autumn features.
“We would love to target the T.J. Smith Stakes with him again.”
Chautauqua stamped himself as one of the most talented sprinters in Australia when he took out both the Group 3 Bobbie Lewis Quality (1200m) and Group 2 Gilgai Stakes (1200m) during the 2015 Spring Racing Carnival, but he suffered a surprise defeat in the Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m).
The Encosta De Lago gelding was beaten by Brazen Beau in the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on March 14, but he finally recorded a maiden win at the highest level of racing in the Group 1 T.J. Smith Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on April 6.
Chautauqua started his 2015 Spring Racing Carnival with a dominant win in the Group 2 McEwen Stakes (1000m) at Moonee Valley on September 5 and he won the Gilgai Stakes at Flemington on October 4 and the Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on October 23 before he suffered another surprise defeat in the Darley Classic at Flemington on November 7.
Gold-Fun is now available at 2015 Hong Kong Sprint odds of $2.30 and is a clear favourite from Peniaphobia ($3.50), Straight Girl ($6), Sole Power ($7.50), Not Listenin’tome ($13) and Gordon Lord Byron ($13).