The Everest favourite Chautauqua was unextended in a 1020m barrier trial at Rosehill today as he revved up his return to the race track for the 2017 Spring Carnival in the Group 2 $200,000 The Shorts (1100m) at Randwick on September 16.
Brenton Avdulla was in the saddle again after he partnered Chautauqua into third place in a 800m Warwick Farm barrier trial on August 25 and once again the Team Hawkes trained grey was under a hard hold as he crossed the line in today’s trial in fifth place behind Trapeze Artist.
“He trialled nicely enough, just did as much as he was asked,’’ Avdulla said.
“His attitude is good, he stepped well, he obviously got back and travelled quite comfortably and finished his work off.
“It’s a nice little stepping stone for the program they have for him.’’
Chautauqua is the ruling $4.80 favourite at Ladbrokes.com.au for the $10m The Everest (1200m) at Randwick on October 14 ahead of the firming $5 second pick Vega Magic who staked his claims for The Everest with an all the way win in the Group 1 $1m New Zealand Bloodstock Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield last Saturday.
Chautauqua is the reigning Australian sprinting champion and is a Randwick 1200m specialist, the same course and distance for The Everest, as he has proven with three consecutive wins in the Group 1 $2.5m Darley T J Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick during the last three Sydney Autumn Carnivals.
The Everest rider for Chautauqua is still undecided as his regular jockey Tommy Berry, who was aboard for his three T J Smith Stakes wins, is now riding in Hong Kong and is unable to secure a release from the Hong Kong Jockey Club to ride in Sydney that day.
Melbourne jockey Dwayne Dunn has also had plenty of success on the Encosta De Lago seven year old and is in the mix as is Sydney’s premier jockey Hugh Bowman.
“All I can say is I hope so,” Bowman told The Daily Telegraph.
“He is a great horse, no doubt about it, and if it all worked out it’d be lovely.”
Early market order for the 2017 The Everest at Ladbrokes.com.au: $4.80 Chautauqua, $5 Vega Magic, $6.50 She Will Reign, $11 English, Houtzen, $13 Brave Smash, Redkirk Warrior, Redzel, $15 Pariah, $21 Russian Revolution, $26 Clearly Innocent, Fell Swoop, Formality, Limato, Spieth, Terravista, Tulip, $33 Bound For Nowhere, $34 or better the rest.