While winning a picnic race win was Chaquinta’s target, she has far exceeded those expectations as she heads to Canterbury for her final start.
The mare won a midweek city race on a heavy track at Warwick Farm over 2200m last week.
She will have the chance to retire to stud with back-to-back wins if she can emerge victorious from the Myboycharlie @ Vinery Handicap (2700m) at Canterbury on Wednesday.
Trainer Joe Cleary is confident Chaquinta will handle the one-week back up.
“I’ve been doing a lot of bush walks with her and put her over a few hurdles to put some variation into her work and she seems to have thrived,” Cleary said.
Chaquinta had three starts for Melbourne trainer Mick Price before arriving at Cleary’s Queanbeyan base.
“I was asked by the owners to win a race at the picnics with her which I did,” Cleary said.
That goal was achieved at Orange in January and since then the mare has won at Canberra before graduating to city grade last week.
“I said `why don’t we have a throw at the stumps to try to make a city placegetter?’,” Cleary said.
“From the picnics to the city, she’s done a bloody good job.”
Cleary said jockey Tommy Berry was keen to retain the ride on Chaquinta after winning on her last week.
While Canterbury was rated in the slow range on Tuesday, any further rain would help the five-year-old’s cause.
“I thought we’ll have one more throw at the stumps before she goes to stud,” Cleary said.
While there are only five other horses entered for Wednesday’s staying contest, Cleary believes the John Sargent-trained Paragon will provide the stiffest competition.
“I’ve got a very healthy respect for Paragon. He’ll stay out the 2700 metres,” Cleary said.
“John Sargent is a great trainer of stayers but we’re in form and when mares are in form anything can unfold.”
Paragon will carry 59kg after Deanne Panya’s claim as he drops back in grade from a last-start Saturday win at Randwick on August 20, while Chaquinta will have 56kg on her back.