Chautauqua On Song for Darley Classic 2014

The Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes-trained four-year-old Chautauqua proved why he’s dominating the futures markets for next month’s 2014 Darley Classic with a classy hit-out at the Flemington track on Friday morning.


Early favourite Chautauqua is on track for the 2014 Darley Classic next month. Photo: Race Horse Photos Australia.

A host of Melbourne Cup Carnival fancies worked down the famous straight this morning ahead of their upcoming Group 1 assignments including Encosta De Lago gelding Chautauqua for Team Hawkes.

The up-and-comer is undefeated this time in with back-to-back wins at Victoria’s most famous track and showed his affinity with the course once again with a solid hit-out ahead of his maiden Group 1 assignment on Emirates Stakes Day.

A winner of four of his nine career starts to date Chautauqua is tracking towards a shot at the $1 million Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m) on November 8 and was one of 25 first acceptances taken for the sprint feature earlier this week.

He also dominates the futures Darley Classic odds at paying a short $2.90 in the all-in markets despite not yet being tested in Group 1 company.

Winner of the Group 3 Hawkesbury Guineas (1400m) during the winter, this season the progressive young gun has scored two emphatic victories.

First-up he beat home Tony Gollan’s Group 1 winning Queensland Temple Of Boom by two and a half lengths in the Group 3 Bobbie Lewis Quality (1200m) in an explosive performance.

Then on October 4 he was far too good for his rivals with a four length victory over Bounding in the Group 2 Gilgai Stakes (1200m).

Many of the other big name players in the early Darley Classic betting markets including former world No. 1 sprinter Lankan Rupee ($6), the Joe Pride-trained Terravista ($6) and the reigning champion Buffering ($9) face off tonight under the lights at Moonee Valley in the $1 million Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m).

Chautauqua meanwhile had his wind-up in an 800m heat this morning winning in 47.72, the final 200m in 22.06.

Jockey Dwayne Dunn switched things up by taking him to the front for the all-the-way effort to defeat Adamantium by one and a half lengths.

Another notable Flemington trial winner from this morning was the Paul Messara-trained Scissor Kick.

The Golden Rose runner-up, last seen running second behind subsequent Caulfield Guineas champ Shooting To Win in the Group 2 Stan Fox Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill last month, also went out over 800m to win in a smart 46.52 seconds.

Handling his first look at the Flemington track the Sydneysider also got the better of a number of genuine contenders for Saturday week’s $500,000 Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) including Blue Diamond winning filly Earthquake who ran third.

“That was very pleasing, just what I wanted to see,” Messara told Racenet speaking of Scissor Kick’s trial.

“He was a little bit slow early but then he travelled keenly and went straight as a die.”

Also heading towards the 2014 Coolmore Stud Stakes back at the course on Victoria Derby Day along with Scissor Kick and Earthquake are fellow heat runners Sultry Feeling (2nd), Brazen Beau (4th), Earthquake’s stable mate Ghibellines (5th) and four-year-old Cluster at the back of the back.

“It’s very hard to peak a horse twice in a preparation and his goal had been the Golden Rose,” Messara said.

“This trip was ‘plan b’ and to be honest I didn’t know until today if he was going to run again or head to the paddock.

“He was having a bit of a look around early but when he increased the tempo through the final half he concentrated more.

“After watching that I’m very happy. Craig (Williams) was very happy too so now we just need to keep him ticking over until the race.”

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