By Ray Hickson
Everest favourite Chautauqua continued the build up to his long awaited return to racing with another quiet trial at Rosehill on Monday.
The grey, with Brenton Avdulla in the saddle, ran fifth behind smart three-year-old Trapeze Artist and Group 1 performers In Her Time, Comin’ Through and Inference in a 1020m heat.
While Avdulla hasn’t ridden the seven-year-old on race day as yet it was his second trial on the champion sprinter and said to his eye everything is in order.
“He trialled nicely enough, just did as much as he was asked,’’ Avdulla said.
“His attitude is good, he stepped well, he obviously got back and travelled quite comfortably and finished his work off.
“It’s a nice little stepping stone for the program they have for him.’’
Team Hawkes has long planned to have Chautauqua peaking third-up in the $10m feature at Randwick on October 14.
The winner of 13 of his 28 starts and over $8.3 million is likely to resume in the Group 2 The Shorts (1100m) at Randwick on September 16 setting up a promoter’s dream for the Australian Turf Club with Winx also due to contest the Group 1 George Main Stakes on the same program.
Chautauqua’s part-owner Greg Ingham’s GPI Racing holds an Everest slot that is being managed by Andrew Williams Bloodstock.
Fell Swoop will race for Inglis in the Everest and Matthew Dale’s star sprinter was also in action at Monday’s Rosehill trials finishing third behind Straturbo in a 900m heat.
The gelding is due to clash with Chautauqua and English in The Shorts and again in the Group 2 Premiere Stakes (1200m) on September 30 prior to The Everest.
Chautauqua remains the $4.60 Everest favourite with TAB Fixed Odds ahead of She Will Reign and last weekend’s Memsie Stakes winner Vega Magic on $6.
A slot for Vega Magic is yet to be confirmed though it is expected the front-running sprinter will not race again before the Everest.
Trainers David and Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig have been locked in by The Star for The Everest but which horse takes that slot is unlikely to be decided until after Redkirk Warrior resumes on Saturday week.
Concorde Stakes winner Redzel is an $11 chance alongside English and Houtzen, due to have her first run this preparation in Melbourne this Saturday.
Spieth’s trainer Bryce Heys said his stable star has come through his second in the Concorde Stakes in good shape but his next move will depend on whether a slot holder secures the horse for The Everest.