Widdup navigates next stage for Chauffeur

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May 15, 2018 - 03:06 PM

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Brad Widdup is looking forward to gauging recent acquisition Chauffeur's future when the colt embarks on the latest phase of his racing career.

Hawkesbury-based Widdup is the third trainer to handle the three-year-old, who has already competed at Group level for Gerald Ryan and Hawkes Racing.

Widdup has set his sights lower for Chauffeur first-up with a Benchmark 87 Handicap (1200m) the scheduled starting point at Rosehill on Saturday.

"He hasn't raced for quite a while, but he seems to be ticking over pretty well," Widdup said.

Chauffeur last raced in the Group Two Roman Consul Stakes (1200m) at Randwick in early October where he tailed the field, 5-1/4 lengths behind winner Viridine.

In his previous start he was sixth in the Group One Golden Rose (1400m), crossing the line six lengths shy of Trapeze Artist.

"He's obviously got talent, it's just a matter of whether he's still got the will to race," Widdup said.

"It's important to get him back to racing now and try and find the right race where he can run well."

Widdup believes Rosehill fits the bill providing the surface stays in the good range.

Chauffeur, has had two trials including an encouraging second to last Saturday's Listed Ortensia Stakes (1100m) winner at Scone, To Excess.

"He got up on the speed, trialled really well and he's come through that well," Widdup said.

"I've got him pretty forward though I'm not saying he can come out and win. I just hope we can place him well so he can run a nice race and give us a bit of hope for the future."

Chauffeur has had 10 starts and has not won since breaking his maiden on debut at Rosehill in December, 2016.

Widdup said four-year-old mare Lovani has returned to Sydney after finishing runner-up to Anton En Avant in last Saturday's Group Three Chairman's Handicap (2000m) at Doomben.

She would now target the Listed McKell Cup (2400m) at Randwick on Saturday week or return to Brisbane for the Group Three Premier's Cup (2200m) at Doomben the same day.

"She travels well so I'll keep my options open," Widdup said.