Tommy Berry to ride Chautauqua in Chairman’s Sprint Prize

By: Mark Mazzaglia
April 21st, 2016

Tommy Berry has won the prized mount on Chautauqua in the Group 1 HK$10,000,000 Chairman’s Sprint Prize (1200m) at Sha Tin in Hong Kong on May 1.

Tommy Berry and Chautauqua will team up again in Hong Kong after they combined to win the T J Smith Stakes, above. Photo by Steve Hart.

Tommy Berry and Chautauqua will team up again in Hong Kong after they combined to win the T J Smith Stakes, above. Photo by Steve Hart.

Both Berry and Melbourne jockey Dwayne Dunn were in contention to ride the Team Hawkes trained super sprinter after both boys have had a winning association with him.

The Hawkes Racing Team broke the news on twitter this morning with the following tweet.

“The decision has been made @TommyBerry21 is to ride Chautauqua in the Chairmans Sprint Prize @HKJC_Racing Sun 1st May,” Hawkes racing wrote on twitter.

Berry is currently on a short term riding contract in Japan and responded with a short message on twitter as well.

“I am wrapped to be given the opportunity to ride Chautauqua and represent Australia on the world stage. Thank you @HawkesRacing&Connections,” Berry wrote on twitter.

Berry has had four rides on Chautauqua for three wins and a placing all at Group 1 level while Dunn has been in the saddle on twelve occasions for six wins with the $750,000 Black Caviar Lightning (1000m) at Flemington on February 20 the only time the pair combined for a Group 1 win.

Berry and Chautauqua teamed up to score a stunning last to first victory in the Group 1 $2.5m Darley T J Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on the first day off ‘The Championships’ on April 2, giving the pair back to back wins in Sydney’s Autumn Carnival feature weight for age sprint.

Their other Group 1 win was in the $1m Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley during the 2015 Melbourne Spring Carnival while the only time the pair tasted defeat together was when third behind Dissident and Wandjina in the 2015 Group 1 $400,000 Schweppes All Aged Stakes (1400m) at Randwick.

Co-trainer Michael Hawkes has travelled with Chautauqua to Hong Kong and even though the grey lost some weight on the flight, Hawkes is happy with the way he has arrived at Sha Tin racecourse.

“He lost a little weight on the flight over but I’m not too worried about that,” Hawkes said.

“He was quite bright when he got off the plane and I’m sure he’ll pick up over the next two or three days.

“The main thing is that we are here.”

“We wanted to come last December but he just wasn’t 100 per cent then. He’s in great shape now and the important thing now is to get him to relax and acclimatised in the new environment.”

Early betting for the Chairman’s Sprint Prize has Chautauqua the ruling favourite at $2.30 in a smart field of international sprinters which includes Queensland’s super star Buffering who is listed as an $7.50 chance.

Chairman’s Sprint Prize market order: $2.30 Chautauqua, $6.50 Aerovelocity, $7 Thewizardofoz, Lucky Bubbles, $7.50 Buffering, Gold Fun $21 Peniaphobia, Not Listenin’tome, $26 Amazing Kids, $31 Mongolian Saturday, $81 Strathmore, $101 Dundonnell, Charles The Great, $151 Super Jockey, I’m In Charge.

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