Hong Kong But No Japan for Chautauqua in 2016

July 15, 2016

Hong Kong But No Japan for Chautauqua in 2016

A trip to Japan this spring has been ruled out for superstar sprinter Chautauqua who will race exclusively in Australia until a Hong Kong Sprint bid in December.


Chautauqua will bypass Japan’s Sprinters Stakes in October for an all-Melbourne spring ahead of the 2016 Hong Kong Sprint in December. Photo: Steve Hart.

The Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes-trained five-time Group 1 winner was earmarked for a shot at the Group 1 Sprinters Stakes (1200m) at Nakayama on Sunday October 2.

The Japan Racing Association (JRA) reached out to connections of the champion Encosta De Lago gelding offering lucrative incentives to have Chautauqua travel over for the race, which is the eighth leg of the Global Sprint Challenge, giving the galloper a shot at an AU$1.3 million bonus.

Part-owner Rupert Legh told Racing Ahead on RSN on Friday morning however that the team would bypass the generous offer and instead keep the rising six-year-old at home before targeting the Group 1 Hong Kong Sprint (1200m) at Sha Tin on International Race Day in December.

“It was a touch-and-go decision, but it’s just the difficulty of the quarantine they’ve got here in Australia,” he said.

“Japan were terrific, they understood that we wanted to go direct and not via Hong Kong to Japan to race and we wanted to take a companion, which is important for any horses travelling.

“But coming back again, I think it’s a four-week quarantine period, so if he came back from Japan to Australia to race in, ultimately, the Darley [Classic] – where there is a $600,000 incentive for Chautauqua to win – he would have been in quarantine for four weeks.

“The race in Japan is the 2nd of October, so just too tight.”

Chautauqua who has already amassed over $6.5 million in career earnings to date is no stranger to Sha Tin having made his international debut on May 1 this year winning the Group 1 Chairman’s Sprint (1200m).

That was his fifth elite level success and second on the trot with Tommy Berry aboard following the $2.5 million Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick during Sydney’s ‘The Championships’.

Chautauqua scored the upset over the favourite English (3rd) in the TJ Smith this year overcoming barrier 11 of 15 for the commanding victory, successfully defending his title after also winning the 2014 edition of the lucrative feature.

Legh confirmed the long-term plan post Hong Kong this summer was to have Chautauqua fit and well enough to attempt an historical and record-breaking third TJ Smith Stakes win during the 2017 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival.

“When you weigh it all up, it’s not just about the spring, it’s about the autumn so we don’t want to muck up his autumn because John is desperately keen to have the horse attempt to win a third TJ, which has never been done before,” Legh said.

“We would have spoken for a good hour yesterday on the positives and negatives of the whole thing, but ultimately it came down to what was in the best interests of the horse, not the owners.

“Yes it would have been great to have won the three races and won the world championship sprint series, but that’s great for the owners – it’s a  bit of an ego trip for the owners, let’s be honest – but at the end of the day it’s really what is best for the Chautauqua.

“We want to see the horse be given every opportunity to continue down the path he’s going and that is to run in Hong Kong in December and ultimately go to Ascot [in England].”

His Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival bid meanwhile is likely to kick off with the $500,000 Group 1 Moir Stakes (1000m) at Moonee Valley Racecourse on September 30, a race co-trainer John Hawkes won in 1993 with Sports Works.

A return to the Valley on October 21 on Cox Plate Eve will follow for the $1 million Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m), a race Chautauqua won last sprint by a runaway two lengths.

Hawkes also won the 1994 Manikato with Spanish Mix, while the last back-to-back winner of the weight-for-age sprint was Spark Of Life (2004-05).

Chautauqua’s final run down under before the Hong Kong bid will be on Emirates Stakes Day, November 5, in the $1 million Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m) at Flemington Racecourse.

Runner-up to Terravista in the 2014 edition of the Melbourne Cup Carnival feature, Chautauqua was also second past the post in last year’s Darley Classic behind Delectation as the beaten $1.75 favourite.

“The horse is happy,” Legh added.

“He’s had a great spell, he’s up in Sydney where it’s a little bit warmer.

“At this stage, fingers crossed all the boxes have been ticked and we just hope we have that uninterrupted campaign and get to the Moir and let the Australian public see what Chautauqua can really do.”

To back Chautauqua throughout his spring bid in the Group 1 Melbourne sprints, make sure you’ve got an account open and ready to go at Ladbrokes.com.au – home of Odds Boost!

Racing fields and data are copyright 2011-2018 © Racing Australia Pty Ltd (RA) (and other parties working with it).
Racing materials, including fields, form and results, is subject to copyright which is owned by RA and other parties working with it. Full copyright notice.

Spring Racing

Rogerson Dreams of 2018 Melbou...

The Everest 2018 Field to Feat...

The Everest 2018 Field to Feature Redzel

Inaugural champion Redzel has officially secured his position in the 2018 The...

2018 The Everest Field Takes S...

2018 The Everest Field Takes Shape: In Her Time Confirmed

She missed out on a shot at the world’s richest race on turf last spring but...

Trapeze Artist Secures 2018 Th...

Trapeze Artist Secures 2018 The Everest Slot for Aquis

The first official slot in The Everest 2018 field has been confirmed with...

El Dorado Dreaming of 2018 VRC...

El Dorado Dreaming of 2018 VRC Oaks Bid

Ben Smith’s ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes winning filly El Dorado Dreaming is in...

Horse Racing Today

2018 Kingsford-Smith Cup Betti...

2018 Queensland Oaks Betting U...

2018 Queensland Oaks Betting Update

The Chris Waller domination of the 2018 Queensland Winter Racing Carnival will...

Baker snug about Champagne Cud...

Baker snug about Champagne Cuddles chances in 2018 Kingsford-Smith Cup

Trainer Bjorn Baker is snug about the chances of his three year old filly...

Capacity field of 16 for 2018 ...

Capacity field of 16 for 2018 Queensland Oaks: Waller has 5

A capacity field of sixteen fillies will line up in the 2018 Group 1 $500,000...

A win by English in 2018 Kings...

A win by English in 2018 Kingsford-Smith Cup could secure an Everest slot

Doomben 10,000 winner English could be racing for a slot in the 2018 The...

Race Results

Viewed Victorious in Caulfield Cup

Race 1 Result – $101 500 AGL Renewable Energy Stakes – She’s Got Gears Wins

Race 2 – $101,500 Schiavello Plate – Avienus Wins

Race 3 – $101 500 Lavazza A Modo Mio – Linton Street Wins

Race 4 Results – $151,500 Listed Herald Sun Stakes – Strawberry Field Wins

Race Previews

2009 Caulfield Cup Barrier Draw Announced

Who Are the Top Contenders for Tomorrow’s Caulfield Cup?

Victoria Derby in sight for Onemorenomore

2009 Melbourne Cup Field

Eclipse Stakes Final Field & Preview

Fields & Form

Can Kelinni Win Sydney Cup 2013 for the Punters?

Moroney Gets into Queensland Derby 2013 Rhythm

Buffering Draws 7 – 2013 BTC Cup Final Field and Barrier Draw

SA Fillies Classic 2013 Field Released

13 two-year-olds in 2013 Champagne Classic Field