Sydney jockey Brenton Avdulla has beaten a short list of high profile jockeys to secure the plum ride on Chautauqua in the $10m The Everest (1200m) at Randwick on October 14.
The Team Hawkes trained Chautauqua is the early $4.80 favourite for The Everest at Ladbrokes.com.au and with regular rider Tommy Berry now based in Hong Kong and unable to obtain a release from the Hong Kong Jockey Club to ride in Sydney on the day, the connections had to search for a replacement.
Premiership winning jockey Hugh Bowman and Melbourne based Dwayne Dunn, who has also had plenty of success on Chautauqua, were in the mix, but Avdulla got the nod after partnering the Encosta De Lago seven year old in two recent barrier trials.
Chautauqua with Avdulla in the saddle had easy trials when third over 800m at Warwick Farm on August 25 and then fifth over 1020m at Rosehill on September 4.
Senior part-owner Rupert Legh confirmed that Avdulla will have his first race ride on Chautauqua in his 2017 Spring Carnival pipe opener in the Group 2 $200,000 The Shorts (1100m) at Randwick on September 16 before the pair line up in The Everest.
“Happy to have Brenton on. He’s familiar with the horse, having been on him at two recent trials, and he seemed the obvious choice,’’ Legh told the Herald Sun.
Among Avdulla’s big race wins was a stunning all the way victory on Lasqueti Spirit in the 2016 Group 1 $1m Crown Oaks (2500m) at Flemington during the Melbourne Cup Carnival and the accomplished rider finished second to Hugh Bowman in the 2016 – 2017 Sydney jockey’s premiership with 78.5 metropolitan wins.
Chautauqua has proven to be a Randwick 1200m specialist and with Berry in the saddle has produced three sensational wins in the last three runnings of the Group 1 $2.5m Darley T J Smith Stakes over the same course and distance as The Everest.
Chautauqua is the ruling $4.80 favourite at Ladbrokes.com.au for the The Everest ahead of the firming $5 second pick Vega Magic who staked his claims for $10 million sprint with an all the way win in the Group 1 $1m New Zealand Bloodstock Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield last Saturday.
On the third line of betting is the 2017 Golden Slipper winner She Will Reign at $6 with the Magic Millions 2yo Classic winner Houtzen is also well in commission at $9.
Early market order for the 2017 The Everest at Ladbrokes.com.au: $4.80 Chautauqua, $5 Vega Magic, $6 She Will Reign, $9 Houtzen, $11 English, Redkirk Warrior, $13 Redzel, Brave Smash, Menari, $15 Pariah, $21 Russian Revolution, $26 Clearly Innocent, Fell Swoop, Formality, Spieth, Terravista, Tulip, $34 or better the rest.