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Royal Ascot will have to wait another year for Chautauqua with connections deciding to bring the champion sprinter home after his breathtaking performance in Hong Kong.

Co-trainer Wayne Hawkes said the decision to return to Australia rather than continue his journey to England was made in the best interests of the horse.

Chautauqua reinforced his standing as the world’s best sprinter with a last-to-first win in Sunday’s Chairman’s Sprint Prize at Sha Tin.

The team left it until Monday morning to make a final decision on Royal Ascot but Hawkes said in the end it was not a hard call.

“It was a pretty easy decision,” Hawkes told Sky Sports Radio.

“The owners said to take the ego out of it and do what’s right for the horse.

“He’s got a black eye this morning and is a little bit flat. That run was equivalent to a normal horse having two runs.

“This time next year it might be a different story but we want to look after him. He’s been great to us.”

Hawkes said the International meeting in December was a realistic target and American racing representatives had also spoken to them about the Breeders’ Cup meeting in November.

While there are many options for Chautauqua, the future of Queensland veteran Buffering is up in the air after he weakened to finish last in the race.

He was found to be lame in the off fore fetlock and also had blood in his trachea.

After another inspection on Monday, the prognosis was brighter but trainer Robert Heathcote said Buffering may well have run his last race.

The eight-year-old has won seven Group One sprints with his most recent the Al Quoz Sprint in Dubai.

Heathcote said a decision on Buffering’s future would be made when he was re-examined on his return to Australia.

 
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