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Chautauqua favourite for Canterbury Stakes

Champion sprinter Chautauqua is the early favourite to win his first race over further than 1200 metres since his three-year-old season but the weather will determine if he starts in the Canterbury Stakes.

Chautauqua won the Hawkesbury Guineas (1400m) in May 2014 with his best performance at the distance since a close third in the 2015 All Aged Stakes.

He has opened at $2.80 for Saturdays Canterbury Stakes (1300m) at Randwick with Doomben 10,000 winner Music Magnate at $3.50 in the TAB’s first market on the 11 entries taken on Monday.

The Hawkes stable will monitor the weather in Sydney with rain predicted throughout the week.

Ten of Chautauqua’s 12 wins have been on good tracks.

Queenslander Too Good To Refuse is an outsider but trainer Desleigh Forster has indicated a preference for running at Randwick rather than in the National Sprint at Canberra the following day.

“Canberra was going to be our race but it is 3-1/2 hours each way from where we are stabled at Randwick,” Forster said.

“He is definitely going to Newcastle for the Newmarket in two weeks time so it is probably better to stay in Sydney at the weekend.”

Forster said Too Good To Refuse would need to earn more prize money to make the field for the $3 million Doncaster Mile.

On his only other visit to Randwick, Too Good To Refuse finished an unlucky fifth in the 2015 Spring Champion Stakes, less than two lengths from the winner Vanbrugh.

Her other autumn hope Cylinder Beach, an impressive Doomben winner on Saturday, is set to run in the Ajax Stakes at Rosehill on Saturday week.

Dual Group One winner Le Romain is the $5 third favourite and comes into the race off a first-up Group Three win in the Southern Cross Stakes.

Glyn Schofield has snared the ride on Le Romain with Hugh Bowman suspended for Saturday’s meeting.

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