The punters pick for the Group 2 Gilgai Stakes (1200m) at Flemington Racecourse delivered on Saturday as Hawkes Racing’s Chautauqua cruised home to an easy victory.
The gelding didn’t jump out of gate one well, and had to settle behind race leaders Bounding and Temple Of Boom.
But he remained on the inside track which gave him a clear line following his famous turn of foot. So with 400m to go, Dwayne Dunn led the four-year-old out in front and in no time he was the clear winner.
He crossed the line four lengths clear of Bounding, while $101 bet Final Crescendo beat the line home into third.
It was the type of performance you’d expect from a maiden, but definitely not a Group race.
Jockey Dunn had nothing but praise for the sprint star following the race.
“He’s a serious horse, he just ambled up today,” Dunn said directly after the race.
“He can run out to 1800m if he has to but he’s pretty efficient down the straight.”
“Today’s attitude was great, he handled himself really well.”
The four-year-old’s attitude will only improve from here and we can expect Chautauqua to be stepped up in grade following the win, possibly towards the Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m), trainer Wayne Hawkes said.
“As a trainer, you don’t get the luxury with 400m to go to put the cue in the rack and smoke the pipe,” Hawkes said after the race.
“It was just good fun to stand back and actually watch him unfold and quicken up the way he did, it was great.”
Speaking about a possible tilt towards the Emirates, Hawkes said: “we’re not going to decide whether to keep him on the straight race or run him in a race like the Emirates [just yet], he’s a fairly adaptable sort of horse.
“It was a really, really good effort today, that was his best win and he’s had a few good ones so far.
“His attitude and mindset have brought him around, he’s been absolutely on song.
“We never pushed him early because he was high-strung, but the owners all left us alone and said do what you want and the penny has really dropped this campaign.
“He went down [the track] like an old timer and he’s only a baby.”
With back to back easy wins at Flemington under his belt, all eyes will be on Chautauqua to see what he can pull out on his next run.
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2014 Gilgai Stakes Results & Finishing Order
Flemington Race 5 – 04/10/2014
|1||4||CHAUTAUQUA||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Dwayne Dunn||–||1||56.5kg||$2.80F|
|2||11||BOUNDING||Ken Kelso||Mark Du Plessis||4L||3||54kg||$4.60|
|3||8||FINAL CRESCENDO||David Kelly||Craig Newitt||5.75L||2||55kg||$81|
|4||1||RIVER LAD||Natalie McCall||Damien Oliver||5.85L||5||57kg||$12|
|5||5||TEMPLE OF BOOM||Tony Gollan||Tegan Harrison||5.95L||4||56kg||$5.50|
|6||9||IL CAVALLO||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||6.45L||11||55kg||$21|
|7||3||FLAMBERGE||Peter G Moody||Vlad Duric||8.45L||9||56.5kg||$10|
|8||2||SMOKIN’ JOEY||Wez Hunter||Ben Melham||8.55L||6||57kg||$17|
|9||6||LIMES||John O’Shea||Steven Arnold||8.75L||8||56kg||$41|
|10||10||LONGMA||Gai Waterhouse||Jim Cassidy||16.75L||10||55kg||$26|
|11||7||ESSAY RAIDER||Leon Macdonald & Andrew Gluyas||Craig Williams||18.75L||7||55kg||$20|