Local galloper Zahspeed remains the solid...
The grey flash Chautauqua has jumped into calculations for a slot in the $13m The Everest (1200m) at Randwick on October 13 by successfully completing the first of his two barrier tests at Flemington this morning.
Chautauqua has been barred from racing after failing to leave the barriers on four occasion during his 2018 Autumn Carnival preparation and was required by Racing New South Wales stewards to pass two barrier tests before being allowed to race again.
Hong Kong based jockey Tommy Berry, who has partnered the grey flash to five Group 1 victories, made a special trip to Melbourne to try and coax Chautauqua out the barriers and the reunion was successful.
Berry was able to get Chautauqua to jump away cleanly from the barriers in an 800m jump out and said the rising eight year old felt terrific.
“It’s probably the best he’s ever jumped for me,” Berry told RSN 927’s Racing Pulse on Friday morning.
“He’s usually a bit sluggish out or takes a while to muster.
“He jumped very quick, and probably about a head in front of the rest of the field, and I had to bring him back at the start, and let him relax and he finished off his trial really well.
“The most pleasing part besides him jumping was the way he trialled,
“I let him slide the last 150m of his trial, and he really let rip and was in front before I knew it.
“He’s back in great order – he doesn’t feel like he’s seven rising eight, he feels like a young horse, he feels like Chautauqua as I know him.”
“He was in the right frame of mind to jump today, and that’s what he was going to do.
“I don’t think how long he’ll be in the barriers will affect him in the future.”
Berry will now have quick turnaround and head back to Hong Kong for the last meeting of the racing season at Sha Tin on Sunday and then return to Australia where he will set up base again and be available to ride Chautauqua during his 2018 Spring Carnival campaign that will hopefully include a start in The Everest.
“I’ll stick with him when he resumes in Sydney, where The Everest will be a target race,” Berry said.
“The Everest looks an even race at the moment, no standout and if he returns somewhere near his best, he’ll beat them.
“If he’s got it in him to run somewhere near his best, then Hawkesy will get him there.”
The Hawkes Racing Team of John, Michael and Wayne Hawkes will now take Chautauqua back to Sydney where he will have a barrier trial at Rosehill on July 23 and if he passes that test will be set for a first up run in the Group 2 $200,000 Missile Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on August 4.
Chautauqua has been a great performer for the Hawkes Racing Team with six Group 1 victories included in his thirteen wins from thirty-two race starts and he has earned in excess of $8.8 million in prizemoney.
Chautauqua is marked at $18 in pre-post betting for The Everest with Ladbrokes.com.au but still has plenty of hurdles to negotiate before being selected by one the remaining slot holders before lining up in the rich sprint.
Early betting for the 2018 The Everest at Ladbrokes.com.au: $4.50 Trapeze Artist, $6 Redzel, $10 In Her Time, Santa Ana Lane, $12 Kementari, $14 Shoals, $16 Vega Magic, Nature Strip, $18 English, Brave Smash, Chautauqua, $21 Winx, $26 Harry Angel, Menari, Redkirk Warrior, Blue Point, $31 Bound For Nowhere, Equilateral, Happy Clapper, $34 Alizee, Estijaab, Le Romain, Viddora, $41 Hot King Prawn, US Navy Flag, $51 or better the rest.
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