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Brenton Avdulla locked in for ride on Chautauqua in The Everest

BRENTON Avdulla has secured the coveted Everest mount on favourite Chautauqua.

Senior part-owner Rupert Legh confirmed on Tuesday that Avdulla, who has ridden the champion in two recent trials, would ride him first-up in The Shorts (1100m) at Randwick on September 16 and also the $10 million The Everest at Royal Randwick on October 14.

“Happy to have Brenton on. He’s familiar with the horse, having been on him at two recent trials, and he seemed the obvious choice,’’ Legh said.

The date of the Everest, plus the Hong Kong Jockey Club’s tight hold on Tommy Berry, has paved the way for Avdulla.

Brenton Avdulla has ridden Chautauqua in his two recent trials and will ride the grey when it resumes in The Shorts on Saturday week.

Hugh Bowman had been approached to ride Chautauqua in the Everest but uncertainty over Winx’s campaign meant Bowman could not accept an offer he described as “an honour”.

Winx will run in either the Craven Stakes at Randwick on Everest day or the Caulfield Stakes on the same day — or neither race.

Chautauqua is the favourite for The Everest at Royal Randwick on October 14.

If Winx runs in Sydney, Bowman would ride there and if she runs at Caulfield — or stays in her box — Bowman will head south. Bowman came with a rush in the last week to nail Avdulla in last season’s Sydney jockeys’ premiership.

Chautauqua, the $4.60 favourite for the Everest, has won the past three T.J. Smith’s over the Everest course and distance (1200m), each time with Berry aboard.

Legh said Chautauqua’s two trials — third at Warwick Farm on August 25 and fifth of seven at Rosehill on Monday — strongly suggested the grey would recapture his best form for the Everest.

“He’s been great in both trials, really full of life,’’ he said.

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