Chautauqua in Hong Kong for $10 Million Chairman’s Sprint
Top Australian sprinter Chautauqua, fresh off a scintillating performance that earned him the $1.5 million top prize in the G1 TJ Smith Stakes at Royal Randwick, has taken an airplane ride to Hong Kong, where he will be tested against the world’s best sprinters in the lucrative Chairman’s Sprint Prize at Sha Tin.
The TJ Smith win gave the five-year-old gelding his fourth G1 win and boosted his career earnings to over $5.5 million.
One of his trainers, Michael Hawkes, mentioned that the gelding had lost a little weight on the flight, demonstrating that not even a horse cares for airline food, but Hawkes is not concerned since the Chairman’s Sprint is not until 1 May.
One of Chautauqua’s key competitors will be Buffering, often characterised as Australia’s toughest sprinter, to see if top sprinter is better than toughest.
They will have 1200m of Sha Tin racecourse to decide the issue with $10 million HKD at stake for the field. The barrier draw is still a week away for the race that was granted G1 status in 2015, so the odds at this time are quite tentative, but Chautauqua is the early favourite at $2.30, with Buffering well back at $7.50. Three of the locals are priced at $7.00.