Co-trainer Michael Hawkes has revealed that the 2015 Hong Kong Sprint at Sha Tin in December is on the agenda for talented sprinter Chautauqua.
Team Hawkes are yet to decide the exact path that Chautauqua will follow during the 2015 Spring Racing Carnival, but Hawkes told Racing Ahead this morning that the T.J. Smith Stakes winner would likely have two lead-up races to the Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m) at Flemington on November 7 before he is sent to Hong Kong to represent Australia in the Group 1 Hong Kong Sprint (1200m).
“Whether he starts off here in Sydney or in Melbourne is yet to be decided, but he will probably only have two runs or three at the most and maybe have a freshen-up and run in races like the Darley and hopefully to Hong Kong at the end of the year,” Hawkes said.
“Hong Kong has been on the agenda after he won the T.J. and we will space his runs.
“He is a fresh horse anyway and everybody knows how good a fresh horse he is on his day and we just have to monitor and space his runs.
“Nothing has been decided and it is all on the table.”
Chautauqua started his autumn campaign with a fast-finishing win in the Group 2 Rubiton Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield on February 14 and he finished an unlucky second behind Brazen Beau in the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on March 14 before he returned to winning form with an outstanding victory in the Group 1 T.J. Smith Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on April 6.
The Encosta De Lago gelding was not able to replicate that performance in the Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400m) at Royal Randwick on April 18 and he was sent to the spelling paddock after the race, but he is now back in work and Hawkes said that he couldn’t be happier with the physical condition of the rising five-year-old ahead of his spring preparation.
“He is great,” Hawkes said.
“He spelled really well and he has done very good.
“He has come in last week, he just looks super and he has taken too it like a duck to water.
“He is a little bit older now, a bit more mature now and he is going really good for this early part.
“He is bigger and burlier and he looks fantastic.
“He is only doing a bit of three quarter pace at the moment, but he had a good solid four weeks pre-training and he looks super.”
Chautauqua has the chance to join equine superstar Black Caviar as the only horse to win the T.J. Smith Stakes and the Darley Classic in the same calendar year.