The owners of Chautauqua have been given a lifeline as they bid to get the popular sprinter reinstated to race after a series of barrier trial failures.
The eight-year-old has become a repeat offender, refusing to jump in official trials beginning with his first offence in February.
After considering submissions on Tuesday from three of the owners, Rupert Legh, Michael Ramsden, Peter Wright, and an equine behaviour specialist, Racing NSW stewards have determined Chautauqua should be given another chance to prove himself in barrier trials.
They placed an embargo on Chautauqua after a race day trial at Rosehill on Saturday when he eventually jumped out several lengths behind the field before making up ground to finish second.
While not considering his effort as a refusal to jump, stewards said his slow start was not satisfactory.
The behaviourist, who wanted to remain anonymous but is known to stewards, was referred to as Mr Q at the hearing and said he believed the horse was heading in the right direction and would benefit from more re-education.
“Saturday was an improvement. I am moving up the ladder with him,” he said.
Mr Q said his work with Chautauqua, which began on August 1, included keeping his feet moving while he was in the barrier but that work was far from complete.
Legh dismissed concerns punters were disadvantaged by not knowing if Chautauqua would jump or not because he had always been a slow starter.
“It is in his character not to jump,” Legh said.
“But he has never not performed on the track. Not once on race day has he let the punter down.
“He can’t do what he did on Saturday if he doesn’t want to be competitive.”
Stewards have agreed to allow Chautauqua to barrier trial again, but not before September 22 by which time Mr Q said he should have finished his process.
Chautauqua must trial on two consecutive occasions and show improvement on his performance on Saturday.
Once rated the world’s best sprinter, Chautauqua has won six Group One races and earned more than $8.8 million.
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