Chautauqua to rubber stamp ability in Gilgai Stakes

By: Mark Mazzaglia
October 3rd, 2014

Jockey Dwayne Dunn would like to see explosive first up winner Chautauqua repeat that performance in the Group 2 $200,000 Gilgai Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on Saturday to rubber stamp his ability before stepping up to Group 1 company later in the Spring Carnival.

Chautauqua will start the short priced favourite in the Gilgai Stakes at Flemington.

Chautauqua will start the short priced favourite in the Gilgai Stakes at Flemington. Photo by Race Horse Photos Australia.

Chautauqua came in for some solid support to start the $5.50 favourite for the Group 3 $150,000 Bobby Lewis Quality (1200m) at Flemington on September 13 and kept the punters happy with a near last to first two and a quarter lengths win over Queensland sprinter Temple Of Boom.

While Dunn was anticipating the Team Hawkes trained four year old would win, he didn’t expect him to win with that sort of ease and a repeat showing would prove that it wasn’t a fluke.

“We’d like to see it again just to reassure us that we weren’t seeing things,” Dunn told the Sportsman.

“We expected him to run really well bit I probably didn’t expect him to do it as easily as he did, to be honest, against horses who have been to the top level while he’s yet to get there.”

“It was no surprise that he won but it was a surprise that he was able to do it with such ease.”

Chautauqua had no trouble breezing past the Tony Gollan trained Temple Of Boom who was also first up following a Winter Carnival campaign that saw him in the Group 1 runners-up stall twice.

Temple Of Boom was beaten a neck by stablemate Spirit Of Boom in the Group 1 $650,000 James Boag’s Premium Doomben 10000 (1350m) at Doomben on May 24 then went down narrowly again when grabbed on the line by River Lad in the Group 1 $1.36m AAMI Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm on June 7.

Chautauqua and Temple Of Boom are set to clash again in the Gilgai Stakes with the Queenslander meeting the Hawkes’ sprinter on a 6kgs better turnaround under the set weights and penalties conditions.

Dunn thinks the grey can get the job again and will be looking to get a nice trail up the Flemington straight from the inside gate.

“I would have liked to have drawn the outside again but the main thing is he gets a bit of cover and can reproduce what we saw,” Dunn said.

“If he can sprint that well against that class of horse there are some nice races for him and if they’d like to take him over further ground he is proven already.”

Another win would tempt the Hawkes Team to consider stepping the Encosta De Lago gelding up to the top level and he is already included in the nominations for the Group 1 $1m Sportingbet Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on October 24 and the  Group 1 $1m Darley Classic (1200m) at Flemington on November 8.

On the strength of his first up win, Chautauqua has been installed the $2.60 favourite for the Gilgai Stakes with ahead of Temple Of Boom at $4.20 and New Zealand sprinter Bounding at $4.80 with the rest of the field at double figure odds.

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