All eyes on a jump out at Flemington
JOCKEY Tommy Berry had “everything crossed,” managing owner Rupert Legh was planning Group 1 nominations and racing fans were united in believing the breakthrough had arrived.
With time ticking, connections to send triple T.J. Smith winner Chautauqua to this morning’s Flemington jump-out, just one day before the blanket trial ban in NSW is lifted. And they lined up brimming with confidence.
Legh told The Sportsman,
“We had two unofficial jumpouts in Sydney, just practice really, but they went great, he flew the gates. That gave us confidence and I still have 100 per cent trust in all the team. The horse is so sound and ready.”
Regular rider Berry told me last night: “He is healthy and going well. Fingers crossed.”
Of course, an unlikely start in the $13 million The Everest at Royal Randwick on Oct 13 hinges almost solely this morning’s jump-out.
“We still have a genuine glimmer of hope,” Legh said. “The final slot-holders can afford to sit back and wait.”
Provided this morning was a success, Legh said Chautauqua would be nominated for both the WFA Group 1 Manikato Stakes under lights at Moonee Valley on Oct 26 and the Group 1 Darley Classic Flemington Nov 10, pending an official trial that would be required.
And that could be between races at the Valley next Friday (Sept 28) on Group 1 Moir Stakes night, given the next official Victorian trials aren’t slated until Oct 8.
But in any direction, time is against an Everest start. NSW would still require two satisfactory official trials, but Victoria needs only one, and the Valley is bending over backwards to accommodate big grey’s return.
One thing’s for sure, everything would have to have gone perfectly this morning for Chautauqua be at Randwick on Oct 13. And if it doesn’t, don’t rule out the 8YO heading to Hong Kong or even the UK next year for a swansong at Royal Ascot.
The most talked about “false start trialler” in the world, Chautauqua hasn’t raced since powering home into fourth behind Redzel in last year’s Darley Classic.
Back on the track and I head into Group 1 Golden Rose Day at Rosehill tomorrow believing whatever beats Newcastle colt Graff wins the race. His close second in heavy ground in the Group 2 Run To The Rose covering a stack of was a beauty and he gets the right draw to park just off speed.
In fact, Run To The Rose has never produced a deeper formline.
Lean Mean Machine’s firstup win was dynamite and Zousain also attacked the line nicely in preparation for step to 1400m.
Of course, The Autumn Sun has a giant motor and will be charging home after being a good thing beaten first-up in the Group 2 Stan Fox (1500m),
although he’ll be forced to go well back from the wider gate. My GOLDEN ROSE Tips:
1. GRAFF; 2. Zousain; 3. Seabrook; 4. Lean Mean Machine
Here are my other Early Value Selections at Rosehill:
Race 1 1. GEM SONG** Expect: $3.85 – $4.15 My Early Rating: $2.75
Race 4 2. HARPER’S CHOICE** Expect: $4.65 – $4.85 My Early Rating: $3.15
Race 5 4. NOIRE** Expect: $4.00 – $4.35 Early Rating: $2.85
Race 6 2. DAYSEE DOOM (E/W)*** Expect: $7.00 – $7.50 My Early Rating: $3.95
Tommy Berry aboard Chautauqua after winning the T.J. Darley Smith Stakes.