Failure To Launch: Group 1 Winner Chautauqua Nearly Banned From Racing

Star sprinter Chautauqua has now stood in the starting gates and failed to leave the barrier with the rest of the field seven times, reports, and was nearly banned from racing by Racing NSW stewards.

In a barrier trial on Saturday, the gelding did leave the gates, but only did so seven or eight lengths behind the field. Stewards issued a preliminary ruling that would ban the multiple Group 1 winner from racing, but a hearing on Tuesday led by managing owner Rupert Legh encouraged the stewards to reconsider.

“It’s in this horse’s character to not jump with the field and no punter has ever lost money because Chautauqua didn’t jump from the gates,” Legh said. “Punters know he misses the start and continue to back him. He’s never jumped with the field.”

The Racing NSW stewards released the following statement on Tuesday:

“Racing NSW Stewards today considered submissions from Mr Rupert Legh, managing owner of Chautauqua, Mr Michael Ramsden, part owner of Chautauqua and Mr Peter Wright, part owner of Chautauqua in response to Racing NSW Stewards preliminary decision that the nominations of Chautauqua for barrier trials and race meetings, should be refused under the provisions of AR50. Evidence today was also taken from the gelding’s behaviorist, who wished to remain anonymous, however his credentials and details are known to Stewards. Trainer Mr J Hawkes declined to participate in the hearing but supported the application from the majority of owners.

“The behaviorist who has been educating Chautauqua to jump from the barriers advised Stewards that he had been working with the gelding since on or around Aug. 1, 2018. He said in that period of time, whilst Chautauqua had not jumped satisfactorily in official trials, the gelding had improved by jumping from the barriers, whereas previously Chautauqua had refused to begin. He indicated to the Stewards that in his opinion, with further education and being encouraged by the gelding beginning well in jump outs, he was confident he could encourage gelding to begin in a competitive manner. The connections of Chautauqua supported this opinion.

“Racing NSW is mindful of its responsibility to protect the image, interests and welfare of the NSW thoroughbred racing industry. Included in this responsibility is to ensure there is public confidence in the industry. The Stewards have balanced this responsibility with the connections submissions. Having carefully considered all relevant matters, the Stewards have determined to allow Chautauqua to barrier trial again in an endeavor to have the embargo removed, subject to the following conditions:

1. Chautauqua is not to barrier trial until after 22 September 2018, so as to allow sufficient time for a re-education process, having regard to the evidence of the behaviourist.

2. Chautauqua must barrier trial on two consecutive occasions to the satisfaction of the Stewards, before being permitted to race again.

3. Should Chautauqua not show improvement in commencing from the barriers as compared to its last barrier trial on 25 August 2018 and/or does not trial to the satisfaction of the Stewards again, the gelding’s nominations for all barrier trials and race meetings will be refused under AR50.

“In making this decision the Stewards have considered the following relevant factors:

1. Since being under the care of the behaviourist from 1 August 2018, the gelding has shown improvement.

2. The behaviourist has advised that with additional time to work with the gelding, he was confident that he would be able to have Chautauqua jump to the Stewards satisfaction in official trials.

3. In their notice of 21 August 2018, Racing NSW Stewards advised that should Chautauqua refuse to jump from the barriers, the nominations of the gelding would be refused. The Stewards did not consider that Chautauqua refused to jump in the barrier trial on Saturday 25 August 2018.

“Relevant Rule AR 50. All nominations and entries are subject to approval, and the Committee of any Club, or the Stewards, may decline to receive, or at any time after having received, reject any nomination or entry without giving any reason for so doing. If any nomination or entry be rejected under this Rule, the fees paid in respect thereof shall be refunded.”

The post Failure To Launch: Group 1 Winner Chautauqua Nearly Banned From Racing appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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