Chetwood has justified his clear favouritism at Caulfield this afternoon; producing a typically strong sprint to comfortably take out the Listed Weekend Hussler Stakes (1400m).
Chetwood was the odds-on favourite in Weekend Hussler betting markets and took an ideal position on the heels of early leader Sistine Demon, who flew the gates and strung the field out along the fence from the outset.
Offered a clear racing line upon arriving at the final straight, Chetwood immediately responded when asked for an extra effort; comfortably overcoming Sistine Demon and opening a three-length gap on the field by the time he found the line.
James McDonald tipped Chetwood as his best ride on 2016 Caulfield Guineas Day earlier this weekend, and he believes the horse is in line for a particularly exciting career.
“He’s flying and going really well,” McDonald said.
“He gave me a beautiful ride today. Obviously he’s led in all of his starts but he had to take a sit, he relaxed really well and he showed us a good, powerful finish like he always does.
“He’s maturing all the time, he’s not that big, strong headed horse that he has been in the past and it’s good to come here today on a good surface, and him show his best qualities.”
Trainer John O’Shea was on hand for Chetwood’s dominant win in the Weekend Hussler Stakes, and revealed that the Group 2 Salinger Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on Derby Day will likely figure as his final campaign target this season.
“It’s a wonderful thing to come to Caulfield and find a race where you get a drag up like that,” O’Shea said.
“He was very effective today and hopefully he pulls up well, and we might be able to get one more out of him this prep.
“He just needs to keep improving and keep executing well and he might come back early next year, and there’s a couple of nice races over seven furlongs at Caulfield where he might be effective.
“The option is to either run him down the straight on Derby Day (Salinger Stakes) or run him over seven on Oaks Day. Inclined to maybe give him a look down the straight and see if he handles that.”
In being crowned the 2016 Weekend Hussler Stakes winner, Chetwood has now posted five wins and two minors through only seven career starts.