The world’s second-highest rated sprinter Chautauqua has returned to racing in typically slick style at Caulfield this afternoon, kicking well in the final straight to comfortably win the Group 2 Rubiton Stakes (1100m).
Jumping from the gates well, jockey Dwayne Dunn settled Chautauqua towards the rear of the field of ten, on the rails, allowing early leaders Oakleigh Girl, Eloping and Flamberge a reasonable head start.
Getting himself caught in a terrible position rounding onto the final straight, the Encosta De Lago gelding appeared boxed in with nowhere to go until Dunn found a gap between runners and pushed the four-year-old wide.
Quickly spooling up, Chautauqua proved why he is a leading chance for success in races like the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) this time in when charging down the races leaders in the final 150m.
Co-trainer Wayne Hawkes was pleased with Chautauqua’s first-up performance in the 2015 Rubiton Stakes but conceded he was worried when watching his runner onto the final straight stuck in a poor position.
“You have to give credit to the horse obviously, but Dwayne gave him about a 15 out of 10 ride,” Hawkes said.
“I really, really thought that was how the race was going to end up, I always thought he was going to end up in a bugger of a spot and that is where he was.
“Dwayne didn’t panic, he just sat, he just waited, got him balanced and he never got him off stride.
“He has only just won and if you get him off stride and you get him off balance then he doesn’t win.
“Full credit to Dwayne for not panicking and I’m sure 99 percent of punters that backed him were panicking.”
Chautauqua is yet to be confirmed for a specific path ahead of the 2015 Newmarket Handicap, but Hawkes revealed he may contest the Group 1 sprint second-up.
“I am not sure yet, but maybe straight to the Newmarket,” Hawkes said.
“We never make a decision race day and he can only win and that is what he did.
“The best part was that he didn’t have a gut-buster and that is important for these horses first-up because they have a long way to go.
“There is not many guarantees, but he will not be in the Oakleigh Plate.”
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2015 Rubiton Stakes Results
|1||1||CHAUTAUQUA||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Dwayne Dunn||–||3||57.5kg||$1.85F|
|2||2||FLAMBERGE||Peter G Moody||Chad Schofield||0.2L||6||57.5kg||$17|
|3||7||ATMOSPHERICAL||David Pfieffer||Craig Williams||3.45L||5||55kg||$5|
|4||6||MISSY LONGSTOCKING||Liam Birchley||Damian Browne||3.65L||8||55kg||$14|
|5||3||RICHIE’S VIBE||Paul Beshara||Damien Oliver||4.9L||7||57.5kg||$51|
|6||4||AMAETHON||Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra||Damian Lane||5.65L||4||56kg||$101|
|7||9||ELOPING||Peter Morgan & Craig Widdison||Stephen Baster||6.15L||1||52.5kg||$6|
|8||5||THE THIEF||Stephen Brown||Ben Melham||6.55L||10||56kg||$101|
|9||8||SUMAKARAY||Brian Cox||James Winks||8.05L||2||54kg (cd 54.5kg)||$101|
|10||10||OAKLEIGH GIRL||Danny J Bougoure||Glen Boss||13.05L||9||52kg||$21|