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Chautauqua’s barrier antics play out again

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Champion sprinter Chautauqua’s racing future is in doubt after he refused to jump in a trial.

Champion sprinter Chautauqua’s career is at a crossroads after he again refused to leave the gates in a barrier trial.

The three-time TJ Smith Stakes winner was at the Cranbourne trials on Monday after refusing to jump in two trials at Randwick on February 27 and one at Rosehill on March 8.

His shot at a fourth win in the Group One TJ Smith Stakes at Randwick on April 7 is over with co-trainer Wayne Hawkes saying the gelding is off to the paddock.

The winner of 13 of his 32 starts, five at Group One level and more than $8.8 million prize money, Chautauqua last raced when fourth behind Redzel in the Darley Classic at Flemington last spring.

Hawkes would not be drawn on whether Chautauqua had run his last race.

“It’s race day today and you never make a decision on race day but the time is coming, sooner rather than later,” Hawkes said.

“He owes us nothing.

“If I had another horse that won five Group Ones and eight-and-a-half million (dollars) I’d cop that everyday of the week.

“It’s not a throw away line, it’s the truth.”

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Chautauqua was sent to renowned horseman Julien Welsh in a bid to correct his barrier antics before Monday’s trial.

“We sent him doing different things, just poking along and that’s why he was here today,” Hawkes said.

“He’s never been here before but if they don’t want to do it, they won’t do it.”

Hawkes said he could never be disappointed with Chautauqua.

He rates the sprinter up with the best horses he’s had anything to do with including Lonhro, Octagonal and All Too Hard.

“He’s as good a sprinter as you’ll ever see,” Hawkes said.

“All the good sprinters are leaders and for him, being a backmarker, it’s never easy.

“But I can think about Hong Kong and his three TJs (wins).

“He hasn’t died, but everything comes to an end.”

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