Rob Heathcote’s special little filly Startantes...
Jockey Dwayne Dunn has lost The Everest ride on Chautauqua in Sydney next month but the silver lining means his attention is now solely focused on the 2017 Ladbrokes Caulfield Guineas mount aboard Royal Symphony.
Connections made the announcement this week that the Team Hawkes-trained champion sprinter Chautauqua would be ridden by Brenton Avdulla in the inaugural edition of the $10 million The Everest (1200m) at Royal Randwick on October 14.
Triple TJ Smith Stakes winner at the track and distance, Chautauqua is the early favourite in The Everest betting through Ladbrokes.com.au at $4.80, and kicks off his spring Saturday week in The Shorts.
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The horse’s regular Sydney rider Tommy Berry has commitments at the time of The Everest overseas with the Hong Kong Jockey Club, opening up the coveted mount.
Dunn has all the recent Melbourne racing experience aboard the international Group 1 winner, but was overlooked for the Restricted weight-for-age clash next month.
While it is a blow not to be on the star, he can now commit 100% to a Melbourne ride on the same day riding the favourite Royal Symphony in the Group 1 $2 million Ladbrokes Caulfield Guineas (1600m).
“It was always going to be sticky, going backwards and forwards to Sydney,” Dunn told Racing Victoria on Wednesday.
“Chautauqua’s first couple of runs are probably going to be in lesser events until he gets to the Grand Final, which wasn’t going to be great for my spring – stop-starting.
“I can now focus on the Caulfield Guineas.”
Dunn also believes there remains a chance he will again partner Chautauqua some time over the spring.
“Who knows, things may change,” he said.
“If he doesn’t perform to expectation and he needs a change, they [Chautauqua’s connections] know I’m always there with my hand up.
“If he turns up back in Melbourne late in the spring, hopefully I’ll be back on him then.”
The Tony McEvoy-trained Domesday colt Royal Symphony meanwhile has won all three of his starts to date, with Dunn in the saddle each time.
He sits top of the Caulfield Guineas 2017 odds through race sponsor Ladbrokes.com.au at a current quote of $5.50.
The up-and-comer’s latest start and only black-type experience so far was at Flemington on July 8 when he carried 59kg to an over four length victory in the Listed Taj Rossi Series Final (1600m).
The proven miler will race first-up, returning to Flemington Racecourse, on September 16 in the Listed $120,000 Exford Plate (1400m).
To check out all the best Sydney and Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival odds, including those for the Caulfield Guineas, head to Ladbrokes.com.au today.
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