Popular sprinter Chautauqua remains undefeated this spring after mustering a huge late turn of foot at Flemington this afternoon to take out the Group 2 Gilgai Stakes (1200m) with complete ease.
Jumping from the gates well, jockey Dwayne Dunn elected to settle Chautauqua off the pace of early Gilgai Stakes leaders Earthly Tiger, Scarlett Billows and Thermal Current, who ensured plenty of early pace would be injected into the race.
Appearing blocked for a run and having a little too much to do with only 300m to run, Dunn cunningly weaved the Encosta De Lago gelding between runners; the horse immediately responding when asked for an extra effort late to post an eighth career victory.
Dunn was understandably pleased to win the 2015 Gilgai Stakes aboard Chautauqua and is confident the horse will be harder to beat as his preparation presses further into spring.
“I was just looking to come in behind Churchill Dancer and get some cover and he switched off well, but then mid-race they sort of steadied up a bit,” Dunn said.
“I half thought about coming back another half-length and going to his outside and getting clean air.
“I thought if I came back a length, they get away from me a length and we probably get beaten so to his credit I had to smash him in between them.
“I know what he can do and we know how good he’s going. Although today wasn’t very pretty we go the job done.”
Co-trainer Wayne Hawkes revealed he was not worried Chautauqua would lose the Gilgai Stakes even at his awkward late positioning behind runners, and confirmed a trip abroad for the 2015 Hong Kong Sprint (1200m) remains a very realistic prospect this time.
“It was all pretty good,” Hawkes said after the race.
“Chautauqua is Chautauqua and once he gets a clear run he runs home in probably some pretty silly times that not many horses can do.
“He can sit and sprint. The good horses have a great turn of foot and he’s just got a ridiculously good turn of foot.
“There’s obviously the Darley Classic and the race at Moonee Valley (Manikato Stakes) in a couple of weeks, but we’re trying to get to Hong Kong for the big one so whatever fits in going really well for that.”
Punters who backed Chautauqua to win the 2015 Gilgai Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au have been paid out on generous odds!