Trainer John Hawkes’s judgment couldn’t have been more precise as star sprinter Chautauqua return to racing on a winning note in the Black Caviar Lightning.
Hawkes told jockey Dwayne Dunn it wouldn’t be until the Group One sprint was almost over that Chautauqua would look like the winner.
“John said `if you are going to win you are only going to get them in last 50 metres’,” Dunn said.
It’s exactly how the weight-for-age race at Flemington turned out with Chautauqua, the $2.80 favourite, getting up in the last stride to beat Terravista ($6.50).
Japonisme ($7) finished in the minor placing ahead of fellow three-year-old and second favourite Exosphere.
Chautauqua settled last of the six runners as the field split in two divisions.
The rank outsider Va Pensiero led Exposhere closest to the inside rail, while Chautauqua had to come from the tail of the four runners who elected to navigate a course towards the outside fence.