Chautauqua won’t start favourite on Saturday, but his record argues against the market in many ways. The Grey Flash ran home as fast as he could first up with a 32.21 final 600m in what was his 3rd lastest final 600m time ever and fastest final 1200m time of 10.89. Both runs this prep have been run along with slow speed out front and run home fast, both unsuitable for a runner such as Chautauqua.
Chautauqua is 3rd up on Saturday and his last 5 runs over 1200m, 3rd or 4th, up in G1 class, have recorded him the following results:
TJ Smith 1st
The Chairmans (HK) 1st
TJ Smith 1st
Darley (0.1L) 2nd
The key factors in all of these five results is a significantly faster than benchmark first 600m.
Houtzen, Redzel and Deploy are expected to push forward for the lead and at least two of these horses in Deploy and Houtzen are expected to push the tempo along throughout the race. If it isn’t rock solid early then they may very well find Vega Magic also pushing on from the outside. Even without that being the case, Deploy’s and Houtzen’s best runs in recent times have been recorded going much faster than benchmark early.. setting up the required speed for Chautauqua to swoop over the top late.
Let’s take a look at the 1200m The Everest field runner-by-runner
3-6mm of rain expected on the day should provide a perfect track for racing and the 25-40kmn of expected southerly winds will provide an interesting aspect coming into the home straight.
1. Chautauqua: Rated 7 points clear of the rest of the runners here and comes in off two solid ‘barrier trials’ with the one race in mind. Redzel, Deploy + others will ensure the pace is on and he will be flashing home down the outside late.
2. Vega Magic: Four wins in a row including a smashing G1 win last start in the Memsie over 1400m. Back to 1200m here and the only query is if the horse can produce the very best ratings required to beat this lot going the Sydney way. On the two runs this prep, he is the real deal.
3. Redzel: On speed runner that has taken all before him this prep with wins in much easier grades than this. This is the testing material and while many think he is the best runner here, I’d rather opt for Vega Magic from an on-pace perspective.
4. English: Disappointing run first up before flying home to just miss last start behind In Her Time in a fast run 1.08.20 premiere last start. Can position much further forward today based on previous preps best runs and any rain will help. Keen here.
5. Redkirk Warrior: Won with ease first up in the Bobbie Lewis down the Flemington straight and proved to be a top class horse winning the Newmarket at Flemington the previous prep. 1200m sprinter and loves a firm track.
6. She Will Reign: Sensational Group 1 Moir win last start at Moonee Valley over the 1000m in the lead in. Goes well on any track condition and has a significant turn of foot that is required to win this race today. Can sit anywhere in run.
7. Clearly Innocent: Ticking the boxes at the moment but last two wins were over 1300m and last start while a good finish saving ground on the inside, he clearly was bested by English on the day. Not one for me.
8. Deploy: The real unknown in the race. Just how good he is? Broke a few track records in recent runs over 1200m and 1300m and gets in well here. Will be on speed with Redzel ensuring they run this at a true brutal tempo.
9. Fell Swoop: Favourite to run last here and that is for a good reason. Non-winner in this grade and lead in runs 6th and 8th. No thanks.
10. Brave Smash: Is his very best over further? Defeated last start over 1200m fairly at Caulfield and Bons Away has come out since and failed to place at Flemington. Vega Magic held him off three back at Caulfield and is much better weighted here. Struggle to suggest.
11. Houtzen: Still a load more to come from the yard for this horse on what we saw the last two starts. Not convinced she has come back well enough compared to last prep and won’t be given the lead today either. Hard to suggest.
12. Tulip: Beaten first up by Roomooz who has failed since. Then last start didn’t go close when favourite in the Tea Rose behind Alizee. Wouldn’t be in this race if the stable didn’t think she was a chance.
Comments: The horses I want to consider chances are Chautauqua, Vega Magic, English, Redkirk Warrior and She Will Reign. At the prices available, Chautauqua is a clear value play and i’ll be investing early.
Strategy: Chautauqua – 1.5 units Each-Way @ $7.50/$2.65