Talented sprinter Chautauqua has been included in the 2015 Rubiton Stakes field and is set to start the Group 2 event at Caulfield on Saturday as a short-priced favourite.
Chautauqua is yet to record a win at the highest level of racing, but stamped himself as one of the best sprinters in the world with dominant wins in the Group 3 Bobbie Lewis Quality (1200m) at Flemington on September 13 and the Group 2 Gilgai Stakes (1200m) at the same venue on October 4 before he finished second behind Terravista in the Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m) on November 8.
Team Hawkes are desperately hoping to record a Group 1 victory with Chautauqua during the autumn and he is set to contest the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on March 14 before potentially heading to Sydney for the Group 1 T.J. Smith Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on April 4.
Group 1 racing returns to Caulfield this weekend and you can find the best odds for Chautauqua or any other horse running this weekend with Ladbrokes.com.au.
While Chautauqua is clearly the standout in the 2015 Rubiton Stakes field, there is still a fair bit of depth in the race and the son of Encosta De Lago will need to perform at his best to run down the likes of Eloping.
Eloping will be taking on the older horses for the first time since she finished third behind Angelic Light and Lankan Rupee in the Group 2 McEwen Stakes (1000m) during the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival and she is set to take up the running in the early stages of the race.
The Choisir filly has recorded two wins from three starts at Caulfield, taking out the Listed Blue Diamond Preview (1000m) and Listed Blue Sapphire Stakes (1200m) at the track last year, and she performed well in a barrier trial over 800 metres at Cranbourne on January 29.
Another horse that is set to take up a forward position in the early stages of the Rubiton Stakes is David Pfieffer-trained Atmospherical.
Atmospherical was sent to the spelling paddock after she took out the Listed Earl Grey Stakes (1000m) at Flemington on Crown Oaks Day, but she impressed onlookers with the way that she performed in a barrier trial over 838 metres at Royal Randwick on February 2.
Trainer David Pfieffer believes that Atmospherical is in career best form heading into the Rubiton Stakes and he is looking forward to seeing his star mare back in action.
“She travelled down during the week and settled in very good at Flemington,” Pfieffer said.
“We are most definitely heading towards the Rubiton this weekend.
“He was pretty impressed with the way that she lengthened out in the straight, sometimes it is hard to get too excited with barrier trials, but regardless of that I am still happy with what she has done this preparation.
“She looks great in the coat and she will definitely be a standout in the yard.
“Her two trials have been very good and I am very happy with her work as we head into the Rubiton.”
One of the most interesting runners in the 2015 Rubiton Stakes field is lightly-raced filly Oakleigh Girl.
Oakleigh Girl finished second in the 2014 Magic Millions Classic (1200m) and was competitive in the Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m) as a two-year-old, but has not been seen at the races since she finished fifth in the Group 3 Royal Randwick Stakes (1200m) in April last year.
Trainer Danny Bougoure is happy with the condition of the talented filly and has set her for the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) – a race that was won by both her sire Snitzel and her dam Miss Kournikova.
Flamberge, Richie’s Vibe, Amaethon, The Theif, Missy Longstocking, Atmospherical and Sumakaray round out the 2015 Rubiton Stakes field.
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2015 Rubiton Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
Caulfield Race 6 (4:35pm) – 14/02/2015
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||12715x112x||CHAUTAUQUA||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Dwayne Dunn||3||57.5kg||110|
|2||41x107643x||FLAMBERGE||Peter G Moody||Chad Schofield||6||57.5kg||101|
|3||142170x7x5||RICHIE’S VIBE||Paul Beshara||Damien Oliver||7||57.5kg||98|
|4||700x08231x||AMAETHON||Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra||Damian Lane||4||56kg||98|
|5||21228×3074||THE THIEF||Stephen Brown||Ben Melham||10||56kg||89|
|6||1x119330x3||MISSY LONGSTOCKING||Liam Birchley||Damian Browne||8||55kg||94|
|7||x11x63311x||ATMOSPHERICAL||David Pfieffer||Craig Williams||5||55kg||95|
|8||438x40x023||SUMAKARAY||Brian Cox||James Winks||2||54kg||88|
|9||714x31162x||ELOPING||Peter Morgan & Craig Widdison||Stephen Baster||1||52.5kg||92|
|10||1142x65x||OAKLEIGH GIRL||Danny J Bougoure||Glen Boss||9||52kg||86|