Team Hawkes will decide after Chautauqua gallops on Tuesday morning if the new sprinting sensation takes his place in the Group 1 $1m Sportingbet Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on Friday night.
John Hawkes, who trains in partnership with his sons Wayne and Michael, said that Chautauqua would gallop of Flemington in the morning then the team will assess whether the four year old tackles the Group 1 on Friday night or waits for the Group 1 $1m Darley Classic (1200m) at Flemington on November 8.
“We’ll make up our minds after he works on Tuesday morning. He is a young horse with a bright future. We’ll access the field and everything else before we make a commitment,” John Hawkes said.
“If he goes into the Valley for the Manikato, it will be his first trip there — he won’t be going there on Tuesday morning,” Hawkes said, referring to the traditional Breakfast With The Best gallops.
The lightly raced Chautauqua has won four of his nine starts but has really captured the imagination of racegoers this Spring Carnival with two explosive wins up the Flemington straight.
Chautauqua scored a very impressive first up win in the Group 3 $150,000 Bobby Lewis Quality (1200m) on September 13 and then blew the opposition away with a four length demolition in the Group 2 $200,000 Gilgai Stakes (1200m) on October 4.
Reigning horse of the year Lankan Rupee is another big name player who will be absent from Tuesday morning’s ‘Breakfast With The Best’ trackwork session at Moonee Valley with trainer Mick Price happy to stay at home at Caulfield.
“I don’t think Tuesday before a Friday night race is a really good idea,” Price told Racing Network..
“He’ll have a bit of a gallop here (Caulfield) tomorrow morning and he’ll be ready to go then.”
Price gave Lankan Rupee a solid hit out on Saturday morning with Craig Newitt aboard and was happy with the gallop, “1000 metres, home three, C. Newitt rode and was happy, horse pulled up well,” Price said.
Lankan Rupee has been sent out as the short priced favourite at his two runs this campaign but has ended up in the runner’s up stall on both occasions.
First up he was run down by the Robbie Griffiths trained Angelic Light who beat him by a nose in the Group 2 $200,000 Mitty’s McEwen Stakes (1000m) at Moonee Valley on September 6 and then the giant sprinter failed by a nose to run down Buffering when second in the Group 1 $450,000 City Jeep Moir Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on September 26.
In the latest market order for the Manikato Stakes, Sydney sprinter Terravista is the $3 favourite with Ladbrokes.com.au ahead of Chautauqua and Lankan Rupee both at $4 ahead of Buffering at $6.50.