Brilliant grey sprinter Chautauqua produced a last to first finish to claim back to back wins in the Group 1 $2.5m Darley T J Smith Stakes (1200m) on the first day of ‘The Championships’ at Randwick today.
Winning jockey Tommy Berry was aboard Chautauqua in his 2015 T J Smith Stakes win when he produced a similar barnstorming finish.
But today Chautauqua ($3.60) still had the entire field in front of him at the 300m but when Berry asked for his final effort, the giant grey stormed down the middle of the track to overhaul the leading division to score a one and a half length win.
Canberra sprinter Fell Swoop ($15) ran another mighty race to finish second with the Gai Waterhouse trained English ($9) running on strongly for third.
The John O’Shea trained Exosphere was sent out the $3.10 favourite but after travelling wide for most of the way faded in the straight to finish in eleventh position.
Berry as on cloud nine after winning on Chautauqua following his win in the previous race when Kiwi three year old Tavago won the Group 1 $2m BMW Australian Derby (2400m).
Team Hawkes never lost hope with Chautauqua who was beaten last start into third place behind The Quarterback in the Group 1 $1.25m Lexus Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on March 12.
“He is the best horse,” co-trainer Wayne Hawkes said.
“He has only ever had one bad career run in his life.”
“Even in Melbourne we were saying this was the grand final today, this was the one we wanted.”
“This was the big one on the big stage.”
“When he is ridden like that, it is the way to ride him, on a nice tempo and home he goes.”
Chautauqua is now planned to go to Hong Kong for the Group 1 HK$10,000,000 Chairman’s Sprint (1200m) at Sha Tin on May 1.
“We are going to Hong Kong and hopefully we get there. If we win in Hong Kong we will then look at England.”
T J Smith Stakes Results
|1||1||CHAUTAUQUA||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Tommy Berry||–||11||58.5kg||$3.60|
|2||13||FELL SWOOP||Matthew Dale||Zac Purton||1.3L||10||58.5kg||$15|
|3||15||ENGLISH||Gai Waterhouse||Blake Shinn||1.4L||14||54.5kg||$9|
|4||5||OUR BOY MALACHI||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Dwayne Dunn||2.9L||6||58.5kg||$16|
|5||7||DOTHRAKI||Peter & Paul Snowden||Mark Zahra||3.5L||5||58.5kg||$26|
|6||4||TERRAVISTA||Joseph Pride||Brenton Avdulla||3.7L||7||58.5kg||$15|
|7||3||DELECTATION||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||4.8L||2||58.5kg||$26|
|8||10||FAST ’N’ ROCKING||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Nicholas Hall||4.9L||13||58.5kg||$51|
|9||6||REBEL DANE||Gary Portelli||Damien Oliver||5.5L||15||58.5kg||$41|
|10||9||SHIRAZ||Tony McEvoy||Brett Prebble||6.8L||9||58.5kg||$15|
|11||14||EXOSPHERE||John O’Shea||James McDonald||8.5L||4||56.5kg||$3.10F|
|12||12||BOSS LANE||Ron Quinton||Tim Clark||9.8L||1||58.5kg||$81|
|13||8||FAMOUS SEAMUS (NZ)||Noel Mayfield-Smith||Glyn Schofield||11L||3||58.5kg||$101|
|14||11||KNOYDART||John O’Shea||Sam Clipperton||12.7L||12||58.5kg||$71|
|15||2||FLAMBERGE||Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra||Damian Lane||21.3L||8||58.5kg||$18|