There wasn’t much between Chautauqua and Terravista again at the end of the Group I Darley Classic but Delectation dived between the pair to give Chris Waller another Group I win at Flemington.
Terravista defeated Chautauqua by a long head in last year’s edition of the $1 million sprint. A short head separated the duo in the latest renewal of the race but Delectation ($14) finished the same margin ahead of Chatauqua on Saturday.
Delectation’s sprint home from beyond midfield with jockey James McDonald in the saddle gave Waller his fifth Group I win down the Flemington ‘Straight Six’ course.
Japonisme became the champion Sydney trainer’s third straight Coolmore Stud Stakes winner last Saturday while Brazen Beau blitzed a smart field in the Newmarket Handicap in March.
Delectation raced away from the favoured inside rail when he was unplaced behind Eclair Choice at Group II level last Saturday but McDonald guided him through the field along the outer section of the track to give the gelding his maiden Group I win.
Waller said he made a late decision to back up Delectation after last Saturday’s run but the choice produced a $600,000 cheque for connections.
“It just didn’t work out for him (last Saturday) and we were very bullish about his chances,” Waller said. “It’s deflating when you go home without winning so you look for the next chance. He was obviously nominated for the race and he pulled up so well.
“It was a field of great sprinters but take nothing away from our horse, with his lead-up form, this time last year he ran second to Brazen Beau and he’s run second to Chautauqua four weeks ago.
“He mightn’t have won last Saturday – he just didn’t have any luck, he wasn’t in the right part of the track on the day – and he still ran well. He certainly came through that race well and he’s proven that today.”
Chautauqua’s connections refused to make excuses for the Manikato Stakes winner’s defeat as a $1.90 favourite but co-trainer Wayne Hawkes said the grey lost no admirers.
“He just wasn’t good enough on the day,” Hawkes, who trains Chautauqua in partnership with his father John and brother Michael, said. “He was in front two strides after the post but when it mattered, he wasn’t quite good enough.”
Terravista’s trainer Joe Pride was happy with the classy sprinter’s effort to finish third.
“Another great run from him,” Pride said. “I can’t make excuses but I just thought with his sprint, he just had to make a long, sustained run, which is not really his go.”
Grand Queensland sprinter Buffering finished fourth ahead of the dual Group I winner Srikandi.