Dwayne Dunn has finally captured a Group One win on Chautauqua with a breathtaking finish in the Black Caviar Lightning at Flemington.
While Chautauqua is now a three-time winner at the highest level, Tommy Berry was in the saddle for the sprinter’s first two Group One victories.
Dunn had been beaten in three Group One Flemington straight 1200m contests aboard Chautauqua.
With 200m to run in Saturday’s 1000m dash it looked as if Dunn was going to have to wait for another race.
An easing 2.80 favourite, Chautauqua reeled off an impressive closing section to claim Terravista ($6.50) on the line with Japonisme ($7) a short half-head away third.
“I wanted to get the Group One monkey off my back with that horse,” Dunn said.
“I’ve done so much work with him but missed my opportunity when I had that suspension at Moonee Valley last year.”
Dunn didn’t expect the small field of six to split in two divisions with Va Pensiero and Exosphere heading to the inside with the remaining four runners coming down the outside.
He said it was the decision trainer John Hawkes to settle at the tail of the field and keep the opposition guessing.
“I was back last and I was guessing when I would get back at them,” he said.
“I was in trouble until the last 50 metres and then it was only in the last three strides that he savaged the line.
“It was a very exciting. I hope it was for everyone watching because from my seat it was pretty spectacular.”
Terravista looked certain to score before his finish was impeded when Damien Oliver almost dropped his whip.
Hawkes’ son Wayne said Chautauqua had enjoyed a good break after being ruled out of a trip to Hong Kong in December.
“The upside with not going to Hong Kong was he didn’t have to go through Werribee and he had the best spell he’s ever had,” Hawkes said.
“If had gone he might have been running first-up in the Newmarket and that is one thing Dad didn’t want to do.”
The Lightning was the first leg of the Global Sprint Challenge.
Hawkes said further legs in Hong Kong and Royal Ascot are options for the sprinter.