Co-trainer Wayne Hawkes is thrilled with the condition of Chautauqua leading into Saturday’s 2015 Darley Classic (1200m) at Flemington, and is confident the horse will perform to a high standard regardless of the state of the rain-affected track.
Chautauqua is one of the world’s highest rated sprinters, but has returned to racing in particularly blistering form this season; unbeaten in each of the Group 2 McEwen Stakes (1000m), Group 2 Gilgai Stakes (1200m) and Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) leading into Saturday’s sprint feature.
Having displayed a keen ability to perform both on top of the ground and in heavy going, Hawkes told Racing Ahead the talented grey is primed for another big performance and is confident jockey Dwayne Dunn will get the best from the horse.
“He’s good, he’s well and he’s happy. He doesn’t mind the wet track so not upset at all,” Hawkes said.
“He had an easy week last week because he had a big Friday night the one before.
“His win didn’t look that hard. It looked so easy and impressive but it really takes it out of the horses. You knew he’d had a run.
“Looking at it you’d probably think that was as soft a Group 1 win as you can get but he still pulled up a bit tight.
“You’re not going to know what’s going to happen. Instructions yesterday were good luck and where they’re going to go whether it be in or out, I’m not sure.”
Chautauqua generally settles off the pace before mounting a late assault, and Hawkes does not see any reason he won’t be able to win the 2015 Darley Classic in typical fashion on Saturday.
“When you’re a backmarker you’re going to get beat. Most backmarkers get beaten more times than they win but Chautauqua wins more than he gets beat because obviously he’s an exceptional horse,” Hawkes said.
“Our bloke is always in a bugger of a spot at some stage in the proceedings. Tactics are a huge part in it but we can’t get our bloke there any better than he is.”
Posting an impeccable career total of nine wins and six minors through only seventeen career starts so far, Chautauqua remains clear $1.65 favourite in 2015 Darley Classic betting markets with Ladbrokes.com.au.
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