Chautauqua’s spring could include Japan

Another overseas trip is in the wind for Chautauqua with Japan and Hong Kong heading the list.

The gelding lived up to his ranking as the world’s highest-rated sprinter with his recent Group One win in Hong Kong opening up options.

Chautauqua’s part-owner Rupert Legh will meet with senior trainer John Hawkes in two weeks to map out a spring program.

The Manikato Stakes and Darley Classic are among the possibilities at home with sprint races in Japan, Hong Kong, and even the Breeders’ Cup Turf in America under consideration.

“It’s great to have him back (in Australia),” Legh said.

“There’s always that nervousness when you travel a horse. As I said to John, ‘you’re like an expectant father, waiting for them to get home’.

“But he travelled really well.”

Trained by Michael, Wayne and John Hawkes, Chautauqua has another week in quarantine and Legh said he would probably have another couple of weeks rest after that.

“John and I have got a meeting in about two weeks time to map out a bit of a program going forward,” he said.

“We’ve got different options. It’s a great problem to have.

“You’re thinking options like the Manikato, Darley Classic and Hong Kong.”

There is also the temptation of the Sprinters Stakes on October 2 in Japan where victory would secure a $US1 million bonus for winning legs of the Global Sprint Challenge in three different jurisdictions.

Chautauqua’s Lightning Stakes win in Melbourne and the Chairman’s Sprint Prize in Hong Kong were part of the series.

“He (Hawkes) even said the Breeders’ Cup,” Legh said.

“You just feel so privileged to be in a position where you can just start talking about those sorts of races, and to be part of them.

“We still think he’s maturing mentally and physically. So we still think the best is still to come from this horse.

“If you look after him, I think long term he could be something quite special – if he isn’t already.”

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