2015 TJ Smith Stakes Ideal for Chautauqua

April 1st, 2015

While arguably producing his most impressive racing efforts over the Victorian way of going so far, trainer co-trainer Michael Hawkes is confident Chautauqua is more than capable of securing a maiden Group 1 title in Saturday’s T.J. Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick.

Chautauqua is primed for success in the 2015 TJ Smith Stakes. Photo: Adrienne Bicknell

Chautauqua is primed for success in the 2015 TJ Smith Stakes. Photo: Adrienne Bicknell

Posting a commendable race record of five wins and as many minor places from his 12 competitive appearances on course so far, Chautauqua stamped his claims as a serious contender over the 2014 Spring Carnival; jogging home to win each of the Group 3 Bobbie Lewis Quality (1200m) and Group 2 Gilgai Stakes (1200m) with ease before running second in the talent-rich Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m).

Having taking out the Group 2 Rubiton Stakes (1100m) and finished second in the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) in Victoria this time in, Hawkes is confident the Encosta De Lago gelding will perform to a typically high standard in the 2015 T.J. Smith Stakes, despite drawing the wide and somewhat awkward barrier 9.

“He’s drawn a bit awkward, but the way it’s going to play it’s probably going to be the best part (of the track),” Hawkes told Racing Ahead.

“Last start he drew in, we wanted to draw out, and he got hemmed up and couldn’t get out and then when he did get out you really saw him explode.

“It’s just going to be a matter of him jumping, getting in the right rhythm – it doesn’t matter where he is in running so long as he’s relaxed and so long as Tommy (Berry) can keep him balanced – because he’s got a big straight where he can wind up and really let down.

“This is the race we’ve set him for all along.

“He gets through the wet ground – he should have probably won a Gosford Guineas on a wet track – and he’s raced this way of going.

“He arrived here Monday in Sydney and looks sensational. He’s just gone back into his old routine and his work on Tuesday was outstanding, to put it short.”

Ladbrokes.com.au is currently offering the best 2015 T.J. Smith Stakes odds, for which Chautauqua remains outright favourite for success at a quote of $2.80 ahead of Terravista ($3.20) and Lankan Rupee ($5.50).

Open an account and deposit at Ladbrokes.com.au today to take advantage of up to $250 in bonuses in time for Day 1 of The Championships.