Chautauqua Provides Drama in Winning Chairman’s Sprint at Sha Tin
Chautauqua really surprised no one in winning the Chairman’s Sprint at Sha Tin, but the way he managed it produced jaw-dropping reactions.
The Hawkes trio’s five-year-old grey gelding apparently thought it a gentlemanly gesture to wait until the other starters had left before taking on the 1200m of Sha Tin turf himself.
Jockey Tommy Berry admitted afterwards that he felt more than a little concern when Chautauqua was not gaining ground halfway through the race, but with 100m left, the horse started charging over his rivals.
Chautauqua ended up winning by a comfortable neck, even giving Berry time to salute as the pair scored over local sprinter Lucky Bubbles, the second favourite heading into the race.
Lucky Bubbles jockey Brett Prebble spoke of being passed by a rocket even though the ride was a good one.
Buffering, the eight-year-old other representative of Australia, finished last after doing all the work at the front. Trainer Rob Heathcote said his horse was not himself, but his praise for Chautauqua was gracious to a fault, where he compared the horse favourably with Black Caviar.
Chautauqua has now won two of the three events that form the Global Sprint Challenge, and needs only to win in order to claim the $2 million bonus that comes from winning designated races in three different countries.