The Champion sprinter Chautauqua refused to go past the gates once again in a barrier trial putting his career at stake. The gelding was at Cranbourne trials and refused to jump the gate just as he did in Randwick and Rosehill on February 27 and March 8 respectively. Everyone is talking about this and it could mark the end of the gelding’s racing career. The trainer Wayne Hawkes believes that the gelding is headed to the paddock. Chautauqua has won 13 races out of 32 starts including 5 wins at group one level. He has won over $8.8 million in prize money. In the last race, the gelding emerged fourth behind Redzel at Flemington’s Darley Classic.
Efforts to get Hawkes to comment on the possibility that Chautauqua had finally run his last race did not yield fruits after he refused to be drawn in the argument. Hawkes said that he never makes a decision unless it was the race day. He added that Chautauqua owes them nothing and said that if he had another horse that has one 5 Group Ones, he would prepare him for races. He further added that he had sent the gelding to a renowned horseman Julien Welsh so that he could try to correct his behavior before Monday’s trial. He added that the gelding has been doing different things and that he could never get disappointed with him. According to him, the gelding is one of the best sprinters he has ever had and rates him highly. “He is a good sprinter especially when one thinks about TJs wins.” Said Hawkes
This means that Chautauqua will not be available to defend the TJ Smith but it will not mark the end of his career. It is true that his retirement has been mentioned but indications are that he will be given another chance to race.
Hawkes said that they are never cruel to their horses and will give the seven-year-old a chance to race because he has done everything he has been requested to do other than jumping the barrier trials. This shows that the gelding still wants to race. It should be remembered that Chautauqua is the only horse that was trained in Australia and has managed to win a Group 1 race in Hong Kong. He has also won 3 TJ Smiths, lightning Stakes as well as Manikato Stakes.
The trainer said that he had replaced Chautauqua’s routine work with beach work and fitted him with blinkers and winkers as well as a barrier blanket that black caviar used during his racing days. According to Hawkes, anyone who has had an opportunity to interact with Chautauqua has given the horse an approval but the gelding has come up with a way of frustrating his trainers.