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Chautauqua Wins Gr1 TJ Smith Stakes
At Royal Randwick in Sydney, Coolmore's former dual Champion Australian Sire Encosta De Lago (Fairy King-Shoal Creek, by Star Way) celebrated an elite success when outstanding 5YO gelding Chautauqua (Encosta de Lago-Lovely Jubly, by Lion Hunter) scored a stunning 1.3-length win for trainers John, Wayne and Michael Hawkes in the $2.5 million Gr1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) for 3YO+, over 4YO gelding Fell Swoop (Not A Single Doubt-Touched In Flight, by Fasliyev) & 3YO filly English (Encosta de Lago-Court, by Anabaa). Chautauqua silenced the doubters once and for all and showed why he is the pre-eminent sprinter in Australia with this devastating last-to-first performance. In registering back-to-back TJ Smith victories and claiming his fourth Gr1 title, the mighty grey boosted his record to 11 wins (including the Gr1 Lightning Stakes, Gr1 Manikato Stakes, Gr1 TJ Smith Stakes, Gr2 Gilgai Stakes, Gr2 Rubiton Stakes, Gr2 Gilgai Stakes, Gr3 McEwen Stakes, Gr3 Bobbie Lewis Handicap & Gr3 Hawkesbury Guineas) and 8 placings (including the Gr1 Newmarket Handicap - twice, Gr1 Darley Classic & Listed Gosford Guineas) from 21 starts for $5,510,750 earnings. "He's the best horse," co-trainer Wayne Hawkes told Sky Racing. "It's easy to say that when you stand here in the winner's stall, but he is the best horse." He added: "This is the one we wanted. This was his grand final because this was the big race on the big stage." Hawkes confirmed that Chautauqua would now travel to Hong Kong for the Gr1 Chairman's Sprint (1200m) at Sha Tin on 1 May before a possible trip to Royal Ascot in June. "We are definitely going to Hong Kong and if we win in Hong Kong we will look at England," he said. Bred by the Throsby family, who raced his dam Lovely Jubly, Chautauqua was passed in for $300,000 at the 2012 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale and was retained to race by his breeders in partnership with prominent owner Rupert Legh, whose blue and gold lightning bolt silks Chautauqua carried to victory. Chautauqua is the second stakes winner from Gr1 QTC Sires' Produce Stakes & Gr1 QTC TJ Smith Classic winner Lovely Jubly, who has also produced Gr3 SAJC Breeders' Stakes winning filly London Lolly (Charge Forward).