Chautauqua flies flag proudly for Aussies with sensational Chairman’s Sprint Prize victory in Hong Kong

CHAUTAUQUA is the thoroughbred sprint king of the world after a stunning victory in the Chairman’s Sprint Prize at Sha Tin, demolishing a glittering field to earn a trip to Royal Ascot.

Dubbed “The Thunder from Down Under”, Chautauqua steamed from the tail of the field to beat local star Lucky Bubbles by a neck to provide Team Hawkes Racing with one of its greatest triumphs. Roughie Strathmore finished third, beaten 1.5 lengths.

Chautauqua ran the last 800m 43.91 sec, averaging 10.98 for each 200m sectional.

Earning just under $1 million for the win, Chautauqua left his connections awash in tears of joy after unleashing his trademark devastating sprint under Tommy Berry’s cool riding.

Dwayne Dunn, the man Berry beat for the prized ride, joined the celebrations as hall of famer John Hawkes was presented with the lure of chasing a Global Sprint bonus of $US1 million bonus at Royal Ascot next month.

The elation of the Chautauqua camp contrasted with the disappointment of Buffering, who shared the lead to the 300m before fading badly to finish last.

The eight-year-old was later found to lame in the off fore fetlock.

“Jesus, to take that many lengths of some good sprinters,” Berry roared.

“They went hard, but this horse is amazing.

“Horses just don’t do what he did.

“It wasn’t a worry how far back I was but it was a worry that he was off the bit so far out and usually horses that don’t travel in races find it hard to finish off but that’s where this horse is very special and he has overcome that once again.

“Even when I pulled up Brett Prebble (Lucky Bubbles) said I don’t think I’ve been a race where they’ve gone that hard.”

Still last at the 250m mark, Berry said he told himself to take a deep breath, and believed he had the race won because he reminded himself the final 200m is the horse’s best part of the race and he was in striking distance.

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