Narrow early favourite for the Newmarket Handicap later this Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival, the Hawkes Racing-trained Chautauqua returns to racing this weekend as the hot favourite to win Saturday’s Rubiton Stakes 2015.
Due to run as Caulfield Race 6 at 4:35pm (AEDT) on the CF Orr Stakes Day program, this year’s $200,000 Group 2 Schweppes Rubiton Stakes (1100m) features a field of 10 sprinters.
The line-up is led by Encosta De Lago four-year-old Chautauqua, winner of the Group 3 Bobbie Lewis Quality and Group 2 Gilgai Stakes down the Flemington straight during the spring.
The up-and-comer also came within a head of victory in the Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m) at the end of last prep when just beaten by Terravista in the Melbourne Cup Carnival clash.
Now he kicks off his autumn in the Rubiton from a gun barrier three draw with Dwayne Dunn returning to the saddle having ridden him for his last four starts.
A first-up specialist, Chautauqua has won two of his three runs when resuming and finished second in the third making him an imposing force fresh on the weekend.
His major assignment though is the $1 million Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) back at Flemington on March 14 for which he pays $4.20 to win in the future markets at Ladbrokes.com.au.
He also dominates the Rubiton Stakes odds for Saturday at a firming $1.60 despite not yet racing at Caulfield where he may not get it all his way like he does over the ‘Straight Six’ at Flemington.
A handsome contingent of returning runners joins Chautauqua in the Rubiton this year including last start winners Amaethon and David Pfieffer-trained Atmospherical.
Drawn in barrier five with Craig Williams to ride, consistent Northern Meteor mare Atmospherical has won six of her 10 starts including back-to-back victories at the end of the spring.
Her latest was at Flemington in a black type over 1000m on Crown Oaks Day, and she’s also undefeated with a strong four from four record over 1100m.
Also first-up are smart fillies Eloping and Oakleigh Girl who had mixed luck with the Rubiton Stakes barriers drawing gates one and nine respectively.
Stephen Baster rides the Peter Morgan & Craig Widdison-trained Eloping, the Group 3 winning and group 1 performed Choisir three-year-old last seen running second in the Group 3 Red Roses (1100m) at Flemington during the Cup Carnival.
She has great Caulfield form though with two wins and a third from three starts at the track and also runs well fresh.
Oakleigh Girl heads towards the race she was bred to win, both of her parents being former Oakleigh Plate winners, but first the Snitzel filly must win her first race since December of 2013.
Other notable Rubiton Stakes runners include the Peter Moody-trained Flamberge and Brian Cox’s in-form mare Sumakaray in barrier two.
See below for the full Rubiton Stakes 2015 field, barriers, jockeys and set weights plus penalties.
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2015 Rubiton Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
Caulfield Race 6 (4:35pm) – 14/02/2015
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||12715x112x||CHAUTAUQUA||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Dwayne Dunn||3||57.5kg||110|
|2||41x107643x||FLAMBERGE||Peter G Moody||Chad Schofield||6||57.5kg||101|
|3||142170x7x5||RICHIE’S VIBE||Paul Beshara||Damien Oliver||7||57.5kg||98|
|4||700x08231x||AMAETHON||Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra||Damian Lane||4||56kg||98|
|5||21228×3074||THE THIEF||Stephen Brown||Ben Melham||10||56kg||89|
|6||1x119330x3||MISSY LONGSTOCKING||Liam Birchley||Damian Browne||8||55kg||94|
|7||x11x63311x||ATMOSPHERICAL||David Pfieffer||Craig Williams||5||55kg||95|
|8||438x40x023||SUMAKARAY||Brian Cox||James Winks||2||54kg||88|
|9||714x31162x||ELOPING||Peter Morgan & Craig Widdison||Stephen Baster||1||52.5kg||92|
|10||1142x65x||OAKLEIGH GIRL||Danny J Bougoure||Glen Boss||9||52kg||86|