Chautauqua is currently available at 2015 Gilgai Stakes odds of $1.35 and co-trainer Wayne Hawkes is confident that the star sprinter can record another comfortable win in the Group 2 event at Flemington on Sunday.
Chautauqua was sent to the spelling paddock after he finished a credible third behind Dissident and Wandjina in the Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400m) at Royal Randwick on April 18 and he returned to the races with a very classy win in the Group 2 McEwen Stakes (1000m) at Moonee Valley on September 5.
Hawkes was thrilled with the ease of Chautauqua’s victory in the McEwen Stakes and he told Racing Ahead that he expects the son of Encosta De Lago to be able to get the job done again in the Gilgai Stakes this weekend.
“It sorted of ended up long a trial,” Hawkes said.
“When you have the best horses that is how you want to have it.
“He has just gone relaxed and he is mature now.
“He was just unbelievably picture perfect, he got into his right rhythm and away he went.
“He just has a brilliant turn-of-foot it is as simple as that.
“Hopefully he can get the job done on Sunday like he did last year.
“His win in this race last year was ridiculous really, he just burst up and won really well.”
Team Hawkes had the chance to give Chautauqua the chance to win another Group 1 in the Moir Stakes (1000m) at Moonee Valley tonight or send him to Sydney for a clash with Terravista in the Group 2 Premiere Stakes (1200m), but Hawkes believes there was no reason not to give the Chautauqua the chance to defend his title in the Gilgai Stakes especially because he gets into the race so well with just 57 kilograms on his back.
“It is just the way that set weights and penalties work and he is certainly in very well,” Hawkes said.
“We toyed with the idea of going back to Sydney for the Premiere Stakes and he would have been running in the Moir if it was 1200, but it is only a 1000 and he is such a brilliant horse up the straight that we thought why not try and capitalise on that.
“When you have a great straight horse they keep running well up the straight and he will do that again on Sunday.”
Chautauqua is available at 2015 Gilgai Stakes odds of $1.35 to become the first horse in history to win the Group 2 event in back-to-back years.