Refuse to race: Chautauqua career in doubt after declining to leave stalls again
The career of star sprinter Chautauqua appears to be nearing an end after the grey failed to leave the stalls for the fourth consecutive time in trials at Cranbourne on Monday.
A six-time Group 1 winner, Chautauqua remains under a racing ban after standing in the stalls under jockey Dwayne Dunn as the barriers opened for the second 800 metre trial of the morning.
Chautauqua needed to jump out to keep alive hopes of landing a fourth consecutive TJ Smith Stakes at Randwick next month, but instead co-trainer Wayne Hawkes was left to ponder retirement for the sprinter.
Hawkes said: “It's raceday today and you never make a decision on raceday, but retirement is coming sooner than later.
“We've just been doing different things with him – that's why he's here today because he hasn't been here before – but at the end of the day, if they don't want to do it, they don't want to do it.
“He's got a mind of his own and doesn't owe us anything. He can do what he wants. He's earned the right. I've never had a better sprinter than him – he's as good a sprinter as you'll see.
"He's a backmarker and he's never done it easily for his whole life so there's no point starting now and doing it right. He hasn't died and everything comes to an end."
Chautauqua’s top-level victories included Sha Tin success in the Chairman’s Sprint Prize in May 2016. The seven-year-old was fourth behind Redzel in the Darley Classic at Flemington when last in action in November.
Hawkes told Racing.com: “He's not sore and he's not hurting. We've had vets, physios and chiros all over the horse. We've had legs scanned and x-rayed. There have been huge vet bills.
“He was at the farm in Sydney and the farm down here at Melbourne and he's jumped out [from the barriers] like a gazelle every single time we've put him through the gates. He's a bugger."
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