Possible Hong Kong Trip For Chautauqua

While injury may have robbed Chautauqua of his chance to head towards last December’s Group 1 Hong Kong International Sprint, recent news indicates he could head to Hong Kong in May for the Group 1 Chairman’s Sprint Prize.

Moved a week from its original date of April 24 and upgraded to international Group 1 status after the demise of the Group 1 KrisFlyer International Sprint, the HK$10million race is sure to pull together another outstanding world class field.

Australian-breds have a very good record in the race with great Silent Witness, fellow world champion Sacred Kingdom and the brilliant Fairy King Prawn all taking the win.

“There is a race in Hong Kong in May, there’s a little race in Ascot in June,” stated co-trainer Wayne Hawkes during the week asked about the autumn program for the grey.

“He’s had his needles and everything to go to Hong Kong, so he’s fully ready to go, so there’s certainly the chance he could go to Hong Kong in May and then onto England in June.”

With trainer Robert Heathcote also suggesting that Buffering could head to the same race on his way back from Dubai where he will race in the Group 1 Al Quoz Sprint, the Hong Kong race could be the first time the pair have met since the Group 1 Darley Classic in the Spring where Chautauqua was a narrow second behind Delectation with Buffering in fourth.

As for where Encosta de Lago’s outstanding sprinting son Chautauqua will kick off his autumn campaign, connections are still undecided, but heading to The Championships for the Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) is high on the agenda of possible runs.

“We haven’t really decided where he is going to kick off (but) he’s definitely going to be trying to go back-to-back TJ’s,” Hawkes said.

“The Lightning will come too quick probably … stats and figures will tell you it’s a pretty hard thing to do, win a Newmarket first-up,” he said.

“He might not even have another run in Melbourne, he might run in Sydney first-up and then go to the T J … bring him through an easier race and then take on the big boys.”

Currently the highest rated sprinter on the Longines Word’s Best Racehorse Rankings at a figure of 125, the next edition of the awards will be announced on January 19 at the World’s Best Racehorse and Longines World’s Best Horse Race Ceremony.

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