Senior part-owner Rupert Legh has not given up hope Chautauqua can run in the world’s richest turf race, The Everest.
But Chautauqua has a few obstacles to clear after he again failed to jump in a Rosehill barrier trial under Tommy Berry on Monday.
Racing NSW chief steward Mark Van Gestel has ruled Chautauqua needs to trial at least twice before racing again.
Chautauqua failed to leave the gates on four occasions earlier in the year before successfully completing one jump-out at Flemington on July 13.
“It’s only July. We’ve got plenty of time to get him ready for The Everest,” Legh told RSN927.
“We’ve got a slot and we’re not about to give that slot away.
“This might be one of those lifetime books and this is the last chapter with everyone wondering if he’ll come out and race again.
“Let’s hope he can continue his career and win The Everest.”
But before an Everest start can be contemplated. Legh said Chautauqua’s health, both mentally and physically, was No.1.
He said a discussion between the owners and John Hawkes, along with his co-trainer sons Michael and Wayne, would determine Chautauqua’s future.
“He’s not a Hall Of Fame trainer for any other reason,” Legh said.
“He’s a great horseman, one of the best trainers going around and I’m sure in the cool, calm light of day we’ll make the right call for the horse.”
Legh said there was an enormous amount of expectation going into Monday’s trial.
He said all was great with the horse leaving the stable but Berry knew on entering the barriers he was not the same horse as the one he rode at Flemington.
“He walked in quietly which is different to how he normally in when in the gates,” Legh said.
“He’s usually fractious and wants to get at them.
“Today and at Cranbourne when Dwayne (Dunn) rode him the scenario was he was quiet, just walked in, stands still and doesn’t give that same sort of feel as before.”
Legh doesn’t believe Chautauqua has lost his zest for racing, saying the gelding was an intelligent, smart horse.
He said back at the stalls post-trial he was kicking his brands off.
“He had the look of arrogance to say I’ve got you again,” Legh said.
“He’s not saying I don’t want to race again, he’s just playing his own little game.”
— Racing NSW (@racing_nsw) July 22, 2018
— Racing.com (@Racing) July 22, 2018
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