Chautauqua overcame a difficult passage to provide Sydney jockey Tommy Berry with his first Group One success in Melbourne.
The Team Hawkes-trained Chautauqua added the Manikato Stakes to his record with a last to first victory at Moonee Valley on Friday night.
After being in last position with 600m to run, Chautauqua got out at the top of the straight to charge home for a two length win over Srikandi with Rebel Dane in third place.
John Hawkes said he didn’t tie Berry down with any riding instructions.
“I could see he (Berry) was nervous enough and I didn’t want to go placing any more pressure on him,” Hawkes said.
“I wasn’t worried where he was in the run as I know how good a horse he is and knew he was capable of picking them up with a clear run.”
Hawkes said Chautauqua would now head to the Darley Stakes at Flemington on the final day of the Melbourne Cup carnival.
Plans are then to head to Hong Kong in December with the sprinter, although Hawkes said the stable will wait and see how he comes through his next outing.
Berry said he expected to midfield, one off the fence, but the pace was on from the outset and Chautauqua took a little time to get into his stride, being off the bit quite early.
He said he doesn’t usually get nervous before races but flying down from Sydney on Friday he said to his wife Sharnee that he was on edge as he was riding an exciting horse.
“I didn’t panic and all John said was stay off the fence,” Berry said.
“He said if plan A goes astray, don’t panic, as he’s the best horse in the race and I don’t care if you get out late, he’ll win anyway.”