Connections of Hawkesbury Guineas winner Chautauqua have ruled out a trip to Queensland for the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival but have the Scone Guineas 2014 penciled in if the nicely bred three-year-old pulls up well.
An Encosta De Lago gelding out of Group 1 winning mare Lovely Jubly, Chautauqua had their sixth career start at Hawkesbury on the weekend.
There they and caught the eye when saluting for the punters as the successful favourite in the $150,000 Group 3 Hawkesbury Guineas (1400m) handing co-trainer and Hall of Famer John Hawkes with his fourth Hawkesbury Guineas win following previous success with Noise (1998), Hire (2000) and Pearly Kings (2003).
“This was only his sixth start and he’s got of a lot improvement physically and mentally,” Hawkes told The Sunday Telegraph.
“He’ll make a nice horse.”
Improving on a last start seventh to Sidestep when failing to make up ground after missing the kick in the Group 2 Royal Sovereign Stakes (1200m) a fortnight ago, Chautauqua is making the country Guineas their own this season.
In early April they were second to subsequent Royal Sovereign third placegetter In Cahoots in a muddy edition of the Gosford Guineas, and now plans are to back them up from the Hawkesbury edition in the $400,000 Inglis 3YO Scone Guineas (1400m) on Saturday May 17.
Talks on Saturday immediately after Chautauqua won the Hawkesbury Guineas with Hawkes, who now trains in partnership with his sons Wayne and Michael, were of a possible trip to Brisbane, but that has since been ruled out.
“If he pulls up well, he’ll go to Scone but not Brisbane, he will go for a break and then we will look at the spring with him,” Hawkes confirmed.
Hawkes also celebrated a win in Saturday’s $150,000 Group 3 Hawkesbury Gold Cup (1600m) with the promising Leebaz.
Odds-on favourite for the Cup, the Zabeel four-year-old shot up the markets for the $500,000 Group 1 Doomben Cup (2020m) Saturday week.
They now occupy the fourth line of Doomben Cup odds at a quote of $7, markets led by the weekend’s AD Hollindale Stakes champ on the Gold Coast Streama ($4).
Leebaz however is listed as an unlikely Doomben Cup acceptor by the bookies, Hawkes saying they would most likely be saved for a shot at the spring riches later in the year and were a promising type like Chautauqua.
“They are a couple of young horses on the rise,” he said.
“Hopefully we will have something to work with in the spring.”
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