JAPAN TRIP OFF THE TABLE FOR CHAUTAUQUA
Chautauqua will not pursue the lucrative bonus on offer as part of the Global Sprint Challenge with the star Australian sprinter to remain in Melbourne this spring.
Prominent owner Rupert Legh said the preference was to have a three-run campaign in Melbourne with the rising six-year-old, commencing with the Moir Stakes, before heading back to Hong Kong for the International Sprint in December.
That rules out a trip to Japan for the Sprinters Stakes, on October 2, where he would have been racing for the US$1 million bonus on offer as part of the Global Sprint Challenge.
“At this stage Plan A – and Plan A can change all the time – is we’ve elected to go Moir, Manikato, Darley, Hong Kong,” Legh said.
“We’re going to leave him in Australia (this spring). He’s an Australian horse, so we’ll let the Australian public enjoy a great racehorse.”
Chautauqua edged to within one win of the GSC bonus when he won the Chairman’s Sprint in Hong Kong on May 1.
To win the bonus a horse needs to win a leg of the series in three countries in the same calendar year. In February, the Michael, Wayne and John Hawkes-trained gelding won the Group 1 Black Caviar Lightning at Flemington.
The Group 1 Moir Stakes (1000m) will be run at Moonee Valley on September 30 with the Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m), which Chautauqua won last year, to be run three weeks later on the opening night of the Cox Plate Carnival.
The Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m), in which Chautauqua has finished runner-up in the past two years, will be at Flemington on the final day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
The Group 1 Moir Stakes already looks like a promoter’s dream come true with champion Buffering set to try and win the race a 4th time and gun Mick Price colt Extreme Choice already confirmed as starters all going well.