Sunday at the Sunshine Coast sees the postponed...
The incredible racing career of the ‘Grey Flash’ Chautauqua could be done and dusted after the autumn carnival was taken off the cards for the sprinter that has refused to trial four times this campaign.
The triple TJ Smith Stakes champion went to the gates at Cranbourne on Monday morning but again failed to jump for jockey Dwayne Dunn in the 800m hit-out.
Chautauqua looked calm behind the barriers for the New Zealand Bloodstock 3YO & Up Trial but remained behind, walking out a good five seconds after all the other horses had jumped.
It was a disastrous result for Hawkes Racing and connections as it was the last chance for the veteran seven-year-old to trial successfully for stewards to allow him to race this autumn.
The $8.8 million earner was to have attempted an historic fourth win in the Group 1 $2.5 million TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on April 7 during ‘The Championships’.
That shot at the record books has officially been shelved with his four failed trial attempts forcing an enforced spell according to a baffled co-trainer Wayne Hawkes who wouldn’t comment on any future plans outside of heading to the paddock.
Chautauqua hasn’t raced since his back-to-back fourths to Peter & Paul Snowden’s ace sprinter Redzel in Sydney’s The Everest (1200m) and the Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m) down the Flemington straight in November.
To date the horse has had 32 starts for 13 wins, including six Group 1s and it will be a highly-anticipated wait for punters as to whether he gets the chance to add to that.
There are plenty of rumours circulating that the rising eight-year-old has lost his zest for racing.
Early on Team Hawkes blamed the star’s refusal to trial on the close proximity of a photographer but there were no such excuses to be found on Monday.
While no official news of retirement has been made, already talks about Chautauqua heading to Victoria’s Living Legends are abundant.
As for futures TJ Smith Stakes odds at Ladbrokes.com.au, with Chautauqua out the markets are dominated by Redzel ($2.50) who was last seen winning the Group 2 Challenge Stakes (1000m) second-up at Randwick on March 10.
Redzel was originally tipped to head to Melbourne next-up for this Friday night’s Group 1 $500,000 William Reid Stakes (1200m) under the lights at The Valley.
He has since been confirmed as heading straight to the TJ Smith Stakes field.
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