Team Hawkes will iron out plans for the rest of the Autumn Carnival for Chautauqua after the ‘Grey Flash’ runs in the Group 1 $500,000 BMW Canterbury Stakes (1300m) at Randwick on Saturday.
Chautauqua was originally being aimed towards trying to win a third straight Group 1 $2.5m Darley T J Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on April 1, day one of ‘The Championships’.
But after finishing a first up third in the Group 2 $200,000 Schweppes Rubiton Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield on February 11 when out sprinted by Super Cash and I Am A Star, Team Hawkes decided to step Chautauqua up in distance and also extended their Autumn Carnival options by putting in a late entry for the Group 1 $3m The Star Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Randwick on the same day as the T J Smith Stakes.
Chautauqua’s performance in the Canterbury Stakes will influence the Hawkes Team’s decision on the six year old’s remaining Autumn program.
“(The Canterbury Stakes) is just the right race for him at this point in time but we didn’t know that until after his first-up run so who knows, it might change again after Saturday where he goes,” co-trainer Michael Hawkes told Racing New South Wales News.
Michael Hawkes, who trains in partnership with his father John and his brother Wayne, said that Chautauqua has come through his run in the Rubiton Stakes and his trip up to Sydney in fine style and he is ready to produce his best.
“He certainly does look as well as ever,” Hawkes said.
The prospect of a rain soaked surface at Randwick on Saturday shouldn’t affect Chautauqua who has won twice on Soft rated tracks in the 2015 and 2016 T J Smith Stakes.
Tommy Berry takes over from Dwayne Dunn on Chautauqua who has drawn barrier four in the eight horse Canterbury Stakes field.
Early betting for the Canterbury Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au has Chautauqua as the $2.90 favourite just ahead of the Bjorn Baker trained Music Magnate at $3.80 and Kris Lees’ Group 1 winner Le Romain at $5.