By Brad Gray
Chautauqua’s breathtaking win in the $2.5m Darley TJ Smith Stakes on Saturday was matched by the outstanding call from Darren Flindell who, like the rest of us, had to pick his jaw up off the floor.
“It’s probably the most spectacular win I’ve ever seen. I can’t say I’ve ever called a horse winning like that before,” reflected Flindell who has been calling for the best part of 20 years.
Chautauqua's third TJ Smith win
“I was focused on him all the way and reiterated that he was last on the turn however I really thought English and Fell Swoop were the only two chances at the 100m.
“I had one last look back and caught a glimpse of him and mentioned that he was still running on but it was unbelievable, as I described it at the time.
“It’s a replay that has become very addictive for people.”
@braddavo Thanks Brad, much appreciated.I do get a kick out of calling Chautauqua home. It's the biggest win of a horse I've had the privilege to call
— Darren Flindell (@hkdarren) April 2, 2017
After the race, Flindell took to Twitter to reply to punters’ praise, tweeting “I do get a kick out of calling Chautauqua home. It’s the biggest win of a horse I’ve had the privilege to call.”
So what compares to Chautauqua’s third TJ triumph?
“In some respects his win last year, although it wasn’t quite as spectacular. There were some good wins in Hong Kong too but nothing of that magnitude,” said Flindell before mentioning Able Friend and Good Baba winning his third Hong Kong Mile.
The reason last year’s TJ Smith victory from Chautauqua is remembered so fondly is largely due to the “BOOM!” Flindell roared as the grey flash charged down the Randwick straight, however there was no script to work in another mention this time around.
“To be honest, it all happened so fast. It was best the way it worked out, the emotion of it. Watching the replay I estimate that he is still five lengths down at the 100m. It was impossible to win.”
“You’re very mindful that it’ll be historical if he could do it but you can never really prepare lines as such. Although I find with Winx I sometimes have to because you know she is going to win. It’s hard to prepare a specific line though because you don’t want to get tied down to it.”