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Russell Stewart’s talented galloper Chantorque will look to get her campaign off to a winning start in the Glenroy Chaff Handicap (1000m) at Ascot on Saturday.
The daughter of War Chant won the Listed Placid Ark Stakes (1200m) last November and will have the Listed Raconteur Stakes (1400m) in June as her primary target this preparation.
Chantorque has not raced since December and enters her racetrack return without a trial, but Russell Stewart is confident she is primed to make an impact first-up.
“I’m not worried about no trial,” Stewart told The Races WA.
“She is a very athletic and clean winded animal.
“She’s been in work for 11 weeks and it’s only a 1000m.
“Her work on Tuesday is exactly where I want her to be.
“She’s grown into a nice filly and is heavier than what she was last campaign.
“She’s not fat, but at least 40kg heavier.”
Ever since she made a winning start when on debut at Ascot almost a year ago, Stewart has expertly plotted Chantorque’s path.
The lightly raced filly has raced on six occasions for four wins, one second and banked close to $300,000 in stake earnings and bonuses.
A fourth placing to Kissonallforcheeks at her previous start in the Lee Steere Classic (1400m) in December is the only time she’s missed a top three finish.
Stewart says Chantorque’s upcoming autumn and winter campaign will determine if she could progress to an Ascot carnival later in the year.
“I can only hope she can, but I will let her do all the talking,” Stewart said.
“Maybe races like the Prince Of Wales and the fillies and mare series.
“She will only have four starts this time in with her grand final the Raconteur Stakes.
“She can then come back as a lightly raced four-year-old.”
Chantorque has drawn barrier two on Saturday and will be in the hands of Victoria Corver.
The apprentice rider takes over from the injured Shaun McGruddy, Chantorque’s regular partner in all of her six lifetime starts.
“Victoria does some work for me and deserves an opportunity,” Stewart said.
“It’s unlucky that Shaun is injured, but Victoria is hard working and dedicated.
“She shouldn’t have too many problems with Chantorque.
“She is pretty much a press button horse who races on pace.”