2015 Hong Kong Sprint Likely for Chautauqua

July 14th, 2015

Team Hawkes have been understandably thrilled with the form, class and results posted by Chautauqua over the last twelve months, and have revealed the talented sprinter continues to step-up preparations for a Spring Carnival campaign geared towards the Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m) and beyond.

Michael Hawkes has confirmed the 2015 Hong Kong Sprint remains a serious target for Chautauqua. Photo: Adrienne Bicknell

Michael Hawkes has confirmed the 2015 Hong Kong Sprint remains a serious target for Chautauqua. Photo: Adrienne Bicknell

Chautauqua more than stamped his claims as one of the world’s standout sprinters through the 2014 edition of the Spring Carnival; winning each of the Group 3 Bobbie Lewis Quality (1200m) and Group 2 Gilgai Stakes (1200m) with complete ease before finishing a close second to Terravista in the Darley Classic.

Having returned this year for success in the Group 2 Rubiton Stakes (1100m) before finishing second in the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) and posting a maiden win at the highest level in the Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) most notably, co-trainer Michael Hawkes told Racing Ahead the team is thrilled with the condition of the Encosta De Lago gelding and are anticipating another standout campaign this time.

“He’s great, he spelled really well, has done really good and he’s come in last week and just looks super,” Hawkes said.

“He’s a little bit older, a bit more mature now and is going really good for this early part. He’s bigger and burlier and looks fantastic.

“He’s only doing a bit of three-quarter pace at the moment but he’s had a good solid four weeks pre-training.

“Whether he starts off here in Sydney or Melbourne is yet to be decided.”

Having hinted at a possible trip abroad following the Spring Carnival after the rising five-year-old won the TJ Smith Stakes, Hawkes confirmed the Group 1 Hong Kong Sprint (1200m) remains a legitimate target for Chautauqua after the Darley Classic.

“He’ll probably only have two runs of three at the most, have a freshen-up and then obviously run a race like the Darley then hopefully on to Hong Kong,” he said.

“We will space his runs. He’s a fresh horse and everyone knows how good a sprinter he is on his day so we just have to monitor him.

“He’s won his Group 1, he’s done a great job and probably unlucky not to win one or two more but in saying that this horse is a gelding and it’s all about the prize money and chasing those riches.”

Chautauqua has posted an impressive six wins and as many minors through only 14 career starts so far, and has experienced notable black type success with each of James McDonald, Dwayne Dunn and Tommy Berry in the saddle.

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