The prospect of a wet track at Randwick on Saturday won’t deter the chances of Chautauqua in the Group 1 $2.5m Darley T J Smith Stakes (1200m).
Wayne Hawkes, part of the Hawkes Racing Team, is confident Chautauqua will handle a rain affected Randwick track when he takes on a smart field of sprinters in the Group 1 weight for age race.
The Encosta De Lago four year old has raced once on a heavy track for a second to In Cahoots in the 2014 Listed $250,000 De Bortoli Wines Gosford Guineas (1200m) at Gosford and has also recorded a Rosehill barrier trial win on a heavy 10.
Chautauqua is coming off a second to the brilliant Brazen Beau in the Group 1 $1m Lexus Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on March 14 and Team Hawkes is happy with his progress since returning to Sydney.
“Chautauqua is going gangbusters and he likes wet tracks,” Waynes Hawkes told Racing Ahead.
“We have had a shocking amount of rain over the last twenty-four hours, Sydney we have had two inches. Today at Rosehill it is heavy and Randwick has had a stack too.”
“We don’t need anything more for Saturday at Randwick, that’s for sure.”
“I’ve actually got wet trackers Saturday, Chautauqua likes a wet track.”
“Quietly confident with a few good runners on Saturday.”
Hawkes pointed out that the same days racing last year was conducted on a very heavy track and conceded that the wet weather would take away some of the glamour of ‘The Championships’.
“This day last year it was bottomless. They rated it a nine, it should have been a nineteen. From the industry point of view you want a great days racing, everyone punts up and we all make money,” Hawkes said.
The T J Smith Stakes is one of four Group 1s to be decided on the first day of ‘The Championships’on Saturday, the others being the $1m Inglis Sires (1400m) for the two year olds, the $2m BMW Australian Derby (2400m) for the three year olds and the $3m The Star Doncaster Mile (1600m) for the open class handicappers.
Number one saddlecloth holder Lankan Rupee is another who will relish the wet conditions as he showed last year in leading all of the way to win the T J Smith Stakes in horrendous conditions.
Other T J Smith Stakes contenders Terravista, Tiger Tees, Famous Seamus, Rain Affair and Sweet Idea all have recorded wins on heavy tracks.
T J Smith Stakes market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $2.70 Chautauqua, $3.20 Terravista, $5.50 Lankan Rupee, $6.50 Sweet Idea, $26 Tiger Tees, Fast ‘N’ Rocking, $51 Famous Seamus, Rain Affair, Lord Of The Sky, $101 Fontelina, Press Report.