Standout sprinter Chautauqua has wasted no time stamping himself as a serious chance of multiple Group 1 successes through the Spring Carnival at Moonee Valley this afternoon; producing an unbelievable turn of foot to take out the Group 2 McEwen Stakes (1000m) with complete ease.
Chautauqua jumped from the gates well, but jockey Dwayne Dunn elected to settle the noted backmarker off the pace of early leaders I’m All The Talk and Sistonic, who ensured there would be plenty of pace on from the outset in the McEwen Stakes.
Settling into a good rhythm towards the bend and rounding onto the final straight, Chautauqua allowed three-year-old Godolphin hope Furnaces a healthy lead with 300m to run but immediately responded when asked for an extra effort by Dunn; reaching to fore of the field in a matter of strides before jogging clear to post a comfortable first-up success; Flamberge running on for second.
Chautauqua has been a standout for Team Hawkes since first appearing on course competitively late in 2013, but undoubtedly found peak condition for the first time through the 2014 edition of the Spring Carnival.
Having won the Group 3 Bobbie Lewis Quality (1200m) first-up by three lengths, the Encosta De Lago gelding progressed to further success in the Group 2 Gilgai Stakes (1200m) before running a close second to Terravista in the Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m).
Returning this year for success in the Group 2 Rubiton Stakes (1100m), Chautauqua ran on for second behind Brazen Beau in the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m); breaking through for a maiden win at the highest level in the Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) on Day 1 of The Championships.
Having returned to the paddock after placing a credible third in the Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400m), Chautauqua will likely progress to a start in the Group 1 Moir Stakes (1000m) on October 2nd before setting his sights on going one better in the Darley Classic on November 7th.
Flamberge has returned to racing in exceptional condition in 2015, and has again kicked off a preparation second to Chautauqua after finishing just off the pace in the Rubiton Stakes in autumn.
Progressing to third in the Listed Bob Hoysted Handicap (1000m) on March 7th, the Exceed And Excel gelding failed to fire when 12th in the Group 1 The Galaxy (1100m) but responded in the best way possible when charging home to win the Group 1 The Goodwood (1200m) on May 16th.