Chautauqua ‘Houdini’ the grey flash

The world’s highest-rated sprinter Chautauqua has been described as “a freak” by co-trainer Michael Hawkes ahead of his return at Randwick.

“With Winx you know what you’re going to get,” Hawkes told reporters on Thursday.

“Whereas with our bloke it’s a bit different because he’s a bit like a Harry Houdini.

“He just gets out of places that he probably shouldn’t get out of.”

Hawkes was referring to Chautauqua’s finishing bursts last seen when the grey flash came from last to win his third successive TJ Smith Stakes in April.

“A lot of people probably thought he couldn’t win” Hawkes said.

The seven-year-old gelding runs over 1100m in The Shorts at Randwick on Saturday, the same day Winx competes in the Group One George Main Stakes.

Chautauqua has already won $8.3 million from 28 starts but Hawkes says it is not just about the money.

“We’ve always looked at it from the horse’s point of view,” he said.

“So long as he is all right then the rest of it will take care of itself and it has done so far”.

Chautauqua is the favourite for the inaugural running of Australia’s richest race, the $10 million Everest, at Randwick on October 14.

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