Jockey Dwayne Dunn has blamed Chautauqua’s shock defeat in Saturday’s Darley Classic (1200m) at Flemington on the soft track.
The five-year-old finished runner-up, a short-head behind the Chris Waller-trained Delectation ($14), for the second-straight year in the $1 million Group 1 after he was also narrowly beaten by this year’s third placegetter Terravista ($9.50) 12 months earlier.
Dunn said the only reason he could find for the defeat was the fact the $1.90 favourite wasn’t at his best with the sting out of the track.
“He tried really hard but he probably didn’t quite sprint as hard on that sort of going,” Dunn said.
“He’s probably better on top of the ground where he’s got more of an electrifying sprint but he still toughed it out right to the wire.”
Hugh Bowman could offer no excuses for Terravista saying he had every chance but was just narrowly beaten by two better horses on the day.
Kerrin McEvoy said the fifth-placed Srikandi ($6.50) ran well but probably wasn’t at her best down the straight.
“She wanted to lay-in a little bit from the 600 which didn’t help but she’s run a gallant race and off the back of that you’d say that she’s probably better around a bend,” McEvoy said.