By Mark Brassel
The crowd at Royal Randwick said it all today, well maybe they didn't ...
As Chautauqua did the impossible and burst down the outside from a seemingly hopeless position to win, most of the huge crowd were stunned and left speechless.
Chautauqua had just won his third successive $2.5 million Darley TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) on Day 1 of The Championships but looked a $101 chance turning for home when at the back of the field with jockey Tommy Berry giving the horse a crack or two with the whip to try and get him going.
The grey only saw daylight at the 300m but was still giving English and Fell Swoop around eight lengths start. However, Chautauqua began his historic charge and flew home over the top of English to score by a short neck. Fell Swoop battled on well to hold third place one and a quarter lengths away.
With the frame of mind Chautauqua always brings to The Championships, there would not be a sprinter in the world able to go with him or withstand his paralysing finish.
An elated Tommy Berry said afterwards: " He’s incredible isn’t he? I said to the doubters the whole way along, don’t worry about it, the Hawkes Team train him. They are freaks at what they do.
“I came up underneath them as I couldn’t come around them and win. Gee, once he got through he was so good. I’ve just got to thank the Hawkes Team.”
Winning co-trainer and part of Team Hawkes, Wayne Hawkes, said: "The horse has been fantastic. He was cool as a cucumber. He’s a rock star and owns the 1200m at Randwick.”
Blake Shinn rode English and said he couldn't believe he was beaten: "It was a great run. You can never go the early crow when Chautauqua is in the race. I wasn’t going to do that today but I really felt all over a winner, all bar the post. Then out of nowhere the big grey came and got me. It was a terrific effort from my mare.”
Chautauqua's record now stands at 28 starts for 13 wins, 7 seconds and 4 thirds for prizemoney of $8.36 million.
Below: Tommy Berry and Chautauqua flash home to win the Darley TJ Smith Stakes at Royal Randwick