Trails at Warwick Farm racecourse this morning. Pictured is Chautauqua (left) and Terravista (left).
Trails at Warwick Farm racecourse this morning. Pictured is Chautauqua (left) and Terravista (left).

$8 million horse goes on strike

CHAUTAUQUA'S celebrated race career is at the crossroads after he refused to jump away with the field again in a barrier trial at Rosehill Gardens this morning.

The "Grey Flash" stayed in the stalls when his seven rivals began the 900m heat.

The Team Hawkes-trained sprinter Chautauqua eventually left the barriers and completed the course but was many lengths behind the winner Vegas Strip.

This is the third time Chautauqua has missed the start in a barrier trial this preparation.

At Randwick last week, Chautauqua did not leave the barriers in a 1050m heat won by Houtzen.

Racing NSW stewards gave Chautauqua a second chance in the very next trial that day, also over 1050m, but again he refused to jump with the field.

Chautauqua’s career hangs in the balance after the champion sprinter again refused to come out of the gates at a Rosehill barrier trail. Picture: Getty Images
Chautauqua’s career hangs in the balance after the champion sprinter again refused to come out of the gates at a Rosehill barrier trail. Picture: Getty Images

Chautauqua, a rising eight-year-old, has had 32 starts during an outstanding race career but his habit of refusing to leave the barriers has only surfaced this preparation.

The winner of more $8.8 million prizemoney, Chautauqua won't be able to resume racing until he trials to stewards' satisfaction, placing in real jeopardy his chances of winning a fourth successive Group 1 $2.5 million T.J. Smith Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on Day One of The Championships, April 7.

Team Hawkes is hoping to have Chautauqua ready to resume in the Group 1 William Reid Stakes at Moonee Valley on March 24.



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