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Chautauqua Wins Gr1 Chairman's Sprint Prize
At Sha Tin in Hong Kong, Coolmore's former dual Champion Australian Sire Encosta De Lago (Fairy King-Shoal Creek, by Star Way) celebrated an elite success when outstanding Australian-bred 5YO gelding Chautauqua (Encosta de Lago-Lovely Jubly, by Lion Hunter) posted a brilliant last-to-first neck win for trainers John, Wayne and Michael Hawkes in the HK$10 million Gr1 Chairman's Sprint Prize (1200m) for 3YO+, over 4YO Australian-bred geldings Lucky Bubbles (Sebring-Bubble Below, by Hussonet) & Strathmore (Fastnet Rock-Our Egyptian Raine, by Desert Sun). Chautauqua showed why he is considered the pre-eminent sprinter in the world when registering his fifth top-flight success, and his first international triumph. The mighty grey boosted his record to 12 wins (including the Gr1 Lightning Stakes, Gr1 Manikato Stakes, Gr1 TJ Smith Stakes - twice, 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 22 starts for $6,476,743 earnings. 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). Chautauqua is now highly likely to travel to England for either the Gr1 King's Stand Stakes or Gr1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot in June. Having won two legs of the Global Sprint Challenge, Chautauqua is now in line for the US$1 million bonus that is available to any horse that can win a minimum of three Group 1 races across three different jurisdictions (countries). "He's stamped himself again as one the best in the world and we are just so proud to have him. Now there is a million dollar incentive and a good reason to go to England, so the fact that he is nearly half way there I'd say all things being well we'd probably go," part-owner Rupert Legh said.