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Chautauqua passes first barrier test

Chautauqua has passed the first of two barrier tests in his bid to be reinstated to race.

The multiple Group One winning sprinter came out of his gate cleanly at Flemington on Friday morning and sprinted past his rivals at the finish of his trial under jockey Tommy Berry who flew in from Hong Kong for the all-important hit-out.

After failing to jump from the barriers on four occasions earlier this year, Chautauqua was ordered to trial twice before racing again.

Chautauqua is now scheduled to travel back to Hawkes Racing’s Sydney stable to have an official barrier trial in a couple of weeks.

Should he pass that test he is likely to make his return in the Missile Stakes in Sydney on August 4.

Part-owner Rupert Legh was at Flemington to watch the jump-out and said it was a relief to see the champion sprinter jump out of the gates with the field and also trial well.

“It’s one of those things we all wanted to see happen,” Legh said.

“We came out here today with a lot of pressure because if he didn’t (jump) it could have been all over.

“So whilst we said we weren’t feeling the pressure, we were. It’s a great relief.”

Another of Chautauqua’s owners, Greg Ingham, owns a slot for the $13 million Everest in October in which Chautauqua was fourth last year.

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