Chaquinta gets chance for black-type glory

Few horses win at the picnics, put three together in metropolitan grade and win a Group race in the space of seven months.

But that’s the meteoric rise Chaquinta is on the verge of completing in Saturday’s Group Three Colin Stephen Quality (2400m) at Rosehill.

The mare started her streak at Warwick Farm on August 24 and won again at Canterbury a week later.

She made it three in a row at Warwick Farm on Wednesday.

But the Joe Cleary-trained Chaquinta wasn’t an instant hit in Sydney.

She was fourth at her first attempt in midweek grade at Warwick Farm in August.

“I thought that might have been curtains,” Cleary said.

“They suggested to go again and bang, bang, bang – we’ve got the picket fence.”

The former Mick Price-trained mare’s owner initially asked Cleary to win a picnic race before Chaquinta was sent to stud.

Cleary achieved that goal at Orange in January and backed it up with a win at Canberra in July with every success delaying her despatch to the breeding barn.

If Chaquinta can hold her form on Saturday, her date with 2015 Golden Rose winner Exosphere might also be postponed.

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“We’re just going to see how things pan out,” Cleary said.

“There’s a chance that she may race on for another 12 months.”

The Colin Stephen will be her seventh run this preparation, but Cleary said while she was in the zone they had to have a throw at the stumps.

“We’ve gone back to the well once too often maybe but we’ve got to go back again and chase that black type,” Cleary said.

Of the seven early nominations Cleary believes the Chris Waller-trained Antonio Giuseppe is the main danger.

“You take Antonio Giuseppe out of the equation and she’ll run the race of her life,” Cleary said.

Antonio Giuseppe is also looking for four in a row, though two of his wins have come in Saturday grade.

Chaquinta is unplaced on a good track and unbeaten in soft ground, but that form doesn’t match Cleary’s opinion of her.

“Everyone suggests she’s just a wet-tracker, she’s actually not,” Cleary said.

“She skips across the ground OK on top of it.”

Godolphin have entered Allergic and Alegria in the race while the Waller-trained veteran Junoob has also been nominated.

Entries have been extended until Tuesday morning.

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