2015 Moir Stakes for Chautauqua Despite Distance

August 14th, 2015

Hall Of Fame trainer John Hawkes has expressed his displeasure with the decision to run the 2015 Moir Stakes over a shortened 1000m course at Moonee Valley on October 2nd, but confirmed the race will still likely remain the first point of call for champion sprinter Chautauqua this season.

Chautauqua will return to racing in the 2015 Moir Stakes. Photo: Adrienne Bicknell

Chautauqua will return to racing in the 2015 Moir Stakes. Photo: Adrienne Bicknell

Previously run over a distance of 1200m, the 2015 Moir Stakes was underlined at Chatauqua’s first major Spring Carnival target when the talented gelding broke through for a maiden win at the highest level in the Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) on Day 1 of The Championships.

Citing the gelding’s preferred distance is the previously-contested 1200m, Hawkes told Racing Ahead the lack of appropriate races during spring for Chautauqua is disappointing, but the Moir Stakes will still likely mark his competitive return.

“They don’t cater for what you call the sprinting horses all that well in the early part of the spring,” Hawkes said.

“There’s 14s (1400m races) and then they get out over a bit of distance.

“So it’s a bit disappointing they took it (Moir Stakes) back to 1000. The Schillaci’s 1100 and I think there’s another 1000.

“They’re nearly all 1000, 1100 the weight-for-age races. There’s not many 1200s unfortunately.”

Chautauqua has been a strong and consistent performer for Team Hawkes since first appearing on course during the 2013 Spring Carnival; posting a commendable six wins and as many minors through only fourteen competitive starts.

Arguably hitting peak condition for the first time during the 2014 Spring Carnival, the Encosta De Lago gelding won each of the Group 3 Bobbie Lewis Quality (1200m) and Group 2 Gilgai Stakes (1200m) before running a close second to Terravista in the Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m) on November 8th.

Returning this year for success in the Group 2 Rubiton Stakes (1100m), Chautauqua boxed on for second behind Brazen Beau in the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) leading into his TJ Smith Stakes success, and has not been seen at the races since finishing a credible third in the Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400m) on April 18th.

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