Chautauqua has stepped up his quest for a fourth successive TJ Smith Stakes with an impressive trial at Warwick Farm.
The seven-year-old came from the rear of the pack under Brenton Avdulla in the 802m-trial to finish strongly for third behind Godolphin duo Vellor and Peacock.
Chautauqua, who has not raced since running fourth in the Group One Darley Classic (1200m) at Flemington in November, was several lengths in front of the field past the post.
The Hawkes Racing-trained sprinter is being aimed at a fourth victory in the $2.5 million Group One TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) on the opening day of The Championships at Randwick on April 7.
Chautauqua’s lead-in to the TJ Smith Stakes is yet to be finalised with options including the Group Two Challenge Stakes (1000m) at Randwick on March 10 and the Group One Galaxy (1100m) at Rosehill a fortnight later.