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Chautauqua’s racing future is still undecided with his performance in a race day barrier trials confusing the situation.
Racing NSW stewards granted permission for Saturday’s 1000m-trial as the first step in getting the world’s former best sprinter reinstated to race after six refusals to jump from the gates in official trials.
The eight-year-old came out of his barrier five or six lengths behind the last of the other seven runners but mustered speed to finish a close second to three-year-old Zousain to confuse the situation.
Tommy Berry rode Chautauqua in the trial and told stewards he thought based on recent remedial work by Hawkes Racing which included jump-outs, he thought Chautauqua would behave.
“I wasn’t worried about him going into the gates as I have been before,” Berry said.
“He had every opportunity today but to be fair to the horse he did miss the start when he won in Hong Kong.
“He plopped out and didn’t want to run for the first 50 metres but still won.”
Racing NSW chief steward Marc Van Gestel said a decision on Chautauqua’s future would not be made on race day.
He said he would talk with senior trainer John Hawkes before he and his panel made a decision.
“We will talk to John Hawkes and consider matters and make a decision next week,” he said.
On more than one occasion, stewards have ordered Chautauqua must trial twice to get his ticket to race with their latest ruling that any nominations for trials or races would be refused if he did not come good on Saturday.
Van Gestel said although he did not jump cleanly, they had to consider whether it was a refusal.
“He came out five or six lengths behind them which is not satisfactory so we have to consider whether we will let him have another trial,” he said.