Can Berry save Chautauqua’s career?
STAR jockey Tommy Berry has answered an SOS call from the Hawkes stable and will fly out from Hong Kong to partner Chautauqua in a last-ditch effort to resurrect the star sprinter's career in a jump-out at Flemington on Thursday morning.
Berry - who has ridden Chautauqua eight times for five Group 1 wins, two seconds and a third - has developed an affinity with the grey.
The Hawkes stable is hoping the talented rider can help the gelding overcome his barrier problems.
Last March, part-owner Rupert Legh suggested Chautauqua wasn't jumping from the barriers because he was missing Berry.
Co-trainer Wayne Hawkes has said it's now or never for Chautauqua, who needs to have a racing ban lifted on him by jumping out with the field in a trial.
Four times last autumn, the rising eight-year-old gelding refused to leave the barriers in jump-outs or trials. He is banned by stewards from racing until he does it successfully twice.
Hawkes described the call to Berry as a last-ditch effort to get Chautauqua back to the racetrack.
"He's won five Group 1 races on him so he knows him inside out. If he rides him and nothing happens then you can't do any more," Hawkes said.
Berry was able to turn around the recalcitrant Hong Kong star Pakistan Star when he was also banned.
The jockey is making a special trip from Hong Kong to ride him on Thursday as he has to ride there again on Sunday.
The Hong Kong Jockey Club hasgiven Berry special leave to ride in the jump-out.
With Berry returning to Australia at the end of the Hong Kong season, which ends in July, Hawkes said the jockey would ride Chautauqua if the grey raced again.
If Chautauqua can get away with the field in the 800m jump-out at Flemington, he'll head back to the Hawkes' Sydney stables and have his second jump-out there.