Chautauqua is the 2015 TJ Smith Stakes Winner

Talented Team Hawkes-trained sprinter Chautauqua has broken through for a maiden victory at the highest level on Day 1 of The Championships; eating up ground over the final 200m to beat Lord Of The Sky by a nose in the Group 1 T.J. Smith Stakes (1200m).

Chautauqua stormed home to win the 2015 TJ Smith Stakes this afternoon. Photo: Steve Hart

Chautauqua stormed home to win the 2015 TJ Smith Stakes this afternoon. Photo: Steve Hart

Jumping from the gates only fairly, in-form hoop Tommy Berry settled the Encosta De Lago gelding at the tail of the field of ten; off the pace of early leaders Rain Affair and Lankan Rupee who flew from the barriers.

Finding the final straight wide and with plenty to do, Chautauqua exploded from the rear of the field with 300m to run; joining a runaway Lord Of The Sky to the front of the field with only 50m to run before poking clear; Terravista running on for third.

Co-trainer Wayne Hawkes was thrilled to watch Chautauqua break his Group 1 maiden in the 2015 TJ Smith Stakes and was quick to lay all the praise on the horse’s exceptional abilities following the victory.

“My heart did stop there a couple of times,” Hawkes said.

“Honestly he was never in a winning position; he was last and D Dunn was on his outside and obviously he wasn’t going to be doing him any favours.

“To come from last today and do what he did, that was pretty freaky.

“Everyone knows his form and his last couple of starts have been a bit unlucky but just great to finally get the Group 1 out of the road.

“He could have run in the Emirates and he could have run in the Doncaster today this horse.

“He’s had everything go right the last 12 months, it’s been almost ridiculous from a trainer’s point of view how this horse has been so push button.

“If he has the right run on a fast track he just wins.”

Tommy Berry delivered a perfectly-timed ride on Chautauqua for success in the 2015 TJ Smith Stakes and was thrilled to repay the faith shown in him by Team Hawkes.

“Full credit to the Hawkes team – I was in an awkward spot coming to the corner, I just let him relax and come back and go round them, and he’s just a super horse,” Berry said.

“How often do you get chances to ride sprinters like this for the first time; I can’t thanks the Hawkes team enough.

“They’ve been a great support for me since I started riding for them a little bit for them and I’m very happy for the association.

“Everyone had their doubts but he did it.”

The next point of call is yet to be confirmed for Chautauqua this season; however a step-up to 1400m for the Group 1 All Aged Stakes in two weeks appears likely.

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2015 TJ Smith Stakes Results

Finish No. Horse Trainer Jockey Margin Bar. Weight Starting Price
1 3 CHAUTAUQUA Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes Tommy Berry 8 58.5kg $4
2 9 LORD OF THE SKY Robbie Laing Damien Oliver 0.1L 6 58.5kg $21
3 2 TERRAVISTA Joseph Pride Hugh Bowman 2.1L 9 58.5kg $2.60F
4 6 FONTELINA Anthony Cummings Zac Purton 3.3L 7 58.5kg $71
5 8 RAIN AFFAIR Joseph Pride Craig Williams 4.1L 5 58.5kg $21
6 7 FAST ’N’ ROCKING David Hayes & Tom Dabernig Dwayne Dunn 5.3L 10 58.5kg $31
7 5 FAMOUS SEAMUS (NZ) Noel Mayfield-Smith Tim Clark 5.7L 1 58.5kg $31
8 11 PRESS REPORT Lee Curtis Jason Collett 7.1L 3 54.5kg $101
9 1 LANKAN RUPEE Mick Price Craig Newitt 7.3L 4 58.5kg $3.70
10 4 TIGER TEES (NZ) Joseph Pride James McDonald 7.6L 2 58.5kg $21


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