Classy sprinter Chautauqua has continued his scintillating run of form through the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival, jogging clear of his rivals in the final 300m to comfortably win the Group 2 Gilgai Stakes (1200m) down the famous Flemington straight.
Jumping from the gates only fairly, the Encosta De Lago gelding settled off the pace of early leaders Bounding and cult favourite Temple Of Boom, but remained on the inside of the racing line allowing for a clear racing line when displaying his signature turn of foot.
Comfortably finding the Gilgai Stakes leaders around 400m from the post, Chautauqua charged clear of his closest rivals to find the line more than three lengths in the green of Bounding; rank outsider Final Crescendo running on for third.
Thrilled with the feel Chautauqua offered in the late stages of the Gilgai Stakes, jockey Dwayne Dunn believes the sky is the limited for the classy four-year-old this time in.
“He just ambled up today and it was just a matter of putting him away,” Dunn said following the race.
“He can run out to 1800 is he has to, but gee he’s pretty efficient down the straight.
“Today his attitude was great; the other day he sort of spent himself a little before the race and his attitude wasn’t great, but today he handled himself really well.
“He’s physically there but just mentally when you’re in the big league you can’t afford to let yourself down, so he’s taking big steps forward now.”
Trainer Wayne Hawkes was understandably pleased with Chautauqua’s performance in the Gilgai Stakes and is confident of a successful transition to Group 1 racing this time in.
“It was just good fun to stand back and actually watch him unfold and quicken up the way he did, it was great,” Hawkes said following the race.
“I’ve got to decide whether to keep him to straight racing or run him in a race like the Emirates (Stakes), he’s a fairly adaptable sort of horse.
“Really, really good effort today, certainly that was his best win and he’s had a few good wins so far.
“What’s actually brought him to this level is his attitude, his mindset this time in he’s been absolutely on-song … All of a sudden the penny’s dropped, but it’s only really dropped this campaign – previous campaigns he was a bit hit and a bit highly-strung.”
Securing a four career win in taking out the Gilgai Stakes, The Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m) in early November appears the likely target for Chautauqua this time in.