Chautauqua to make strides towards Everest

By: Chris Barclay Tuesday 26 September 201

Brendon Avdulla has had one ride on Chautauqua and has never been happier to bring a horse home out of the minor placings.

The grey surged home late to finish seventh in The Shorts on September 16 in his first lead-up race for next month's $10 million Everest and Avdulla was delighted.

"You're not very happy many times when you get beat but the other day I was just happy seeing him back," Avdulla said.

"From one prep to another a lot can happen and you wonder of they've come back or not."

Avdulla, who inherited the plum ride from Hong Kong-based Tommy Berry, admitted trackwork and barrier trials could be deceptive with Chautauqua.

"He doesn't break many records so you're not a hundred per cent sure but I was always promised when I let him go race day and the cylinders fired up he'd let rip for me, which he did," he said.

Avdulla's learning experience continues on Saturday in the Group Two Premiere Stakes.

The Everest favourite's last race day tune-up is over the Randwick 1200 metres, the same distance as the TJ Smith Stakes which Chautauqua has won three times.

Avdulla says he is gradually building a rapport with Chautauqua and he has a sense of what Hugh Bowman encounters with superstar Winx.

"He builds his momentum and he sustains his speed for longer than probably a lot of horses," Avdulla said.

"Winx does that and that's why she's so good and he's the same.

"I don't think you see many horses break 11 seconds for four furlongs in a row and he did it at the end of his race."

The field is finalised on Wednesday with Canberra trainer Matt Dale confirming Everest rival Fell Swoop would run in the Premiere and not the Moir Stakes in Melbourne.