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The racing future of outstanding sprinter Chautauqua is in jeopardy

The racing future of outstanding sprinter Chautauqua is in jeopardy after he again refused to jump in a barrier trial at Rosehill.

Chautauqua stayed in the barrier on Tuesday for the sixth time in seven attempts since February.

Tommy Berry eventually pushed him out of the gate and he went around the track, finishing more than 90 lengths from the others.

Senior co-trainer John Hawkes later told Racing NSW stewards that any decision on Chautauqua’s future would not be made for another week.

Hawkes wants to wait until managing part-owner Rupert Legh returns from an overseas holiday before making a call on Chautauqua’s future.

Legh said he was finding it hard to come to terms with Chautauqua’s latest refusal.

“It’s all still a bit raw at this stage,” Legh, speaking from Colorado, told Melbourne radio station SEN1116.

“There is no way known we would at all harm this horse mentally or physically.

“Everyone needs to sit back and have some confidence in the trainer and let John at the end of the day make the decision.

“He might make the decision and say I think we’ve gone as far as we can or he might say you know I think we’re making headway with this horse.”

If connections decide to continue Chatauqua’s career, Racing NSW chief steward Marc Van Gestal is adamant they will have to make a compelling case.

“The stewards would require submissions from connections that satisfy the stewards that Chautauqua’s nominations for barrier trials and race meetings should not be refused,” Van Gestel said.

Legh said Chautauqua had done everything right since refusing to jump in a Rosehill barrier trial on July 23 and that the gelding’s head was in the right space.

“I’ve had a brief conversation with John but we’ll talk later on when the emotion comes out of it,” Legh said..

Racing NSW starter Dale Jeffs said he thought Chautauqua was going to jump when he lunged forward as the gates opened.

Jeffs said Chautauqua eventually left the gates on his own accord, an improvement on previous occasions when barrier attendants have had to lead him out.

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