Connections have resisted the temptation to showcase champion sprinter Chautauqua in Japan this spring despite the lure of a $1 million bonus.
The $US1 million is available to connections of any horse that can win three legs of the Global Challenge in three different jurisdictions.
After winning the Lightning Stakes at Flemington and Chairman’s Sprint Prize in Hong Kong, Chautauqua’s owners considered a trip to the Sprinters Stakes at Nakayama in September.
However, co-trainer Michael Hawkes said the world’s highest ranked sprinter would instead stay home for the Moir Stakes, the Manikato and the Darley Classic before going back to Hong Kong for the International Sprint in December.
“There was a lot of tossing and turning. It wasn’t an easy decision,” Hawkes said.
“He’s the best sprinter since Black Caviar and we want to do what’s right by the horse and we thought it best to showcase him here and then go back to Hong Kong.
“He’s been there before so we know he can handle the travel and it’s familiar to him.”
Hawkes also revealed Leebaz was recovering after suffering a near-fatal bout of colic diagnosed last week.
The multiple Group winner underwent surgery to realign his intestines but did not require any of his bowel to be removed.
“He is a day-by-day proposition,” he said.
“But he is doing well. All credit goes to my staff at Caloundra who were quick to see there was something wrong and to get him to Brisbane.
“It’s a long process but there is upside.”
Article from JustHorseRacing.com.au