Kiwi raider Chocante has led from start to finish to win the Group 2 Brisbane Cup (2200m) at Doomben this afternoon; the final race on 2017 Stradbroke Handicap Day.
Chocante failed to fire on heavy going in the Group 3 Premier’s Cup (2200m) at Eagle Farm a fortnight ago, but flew the barriers this afternoon and immediately took up the running; leaving nothing to chance as he led the field past the post the first time.
Settling into a good rhythm and setting only a fair tempo for his rivals around the bend and across the back straight, Chocante held a position on the rail inside Top Of My List and just ahead of Single Gaze and Pemberley.
Skipping clear upon arriving at the final straight, the Shocking gelding immediately responded when asked for an extra effort; mustering a good turn of foot and sustaining well to the line to finish more than a length ahead of Single Gaze; Pemberley holding on for third ahead of a fast-finishing Benzini.
Jockey Jim Byrne also partnered Capital Gain to a win in the Group 1 JJ Atkins this afternoon and was thrilled to deliver trainer Stephen Marsh a black type win.
“I’ve just got to thank Steve and the owners, because after his failure last start at Eagle Farm, they were a little but deflated,” Byrne said after the race.
“It’s just such a great thrill to ride a winner for Steve, because I rode quite a bit for his dad.
“It’s a really big thrill.”
A strong and consistent performer in his native New Zealand, Chocante arrived in Australia for a credible third-place finish in the Group 3 Chairman’s Stakes (2000m) at Doomben on May 13th, in what was his only other start prior to the Premier’s Cup.
Single Gaze capped an outstanding preparation with this afternoon’s second-place finish in the Brisbane Cup, which also included a close second in the Group 2 Hollindale Stakes (1800m) and win in the Group 2 PJ O’Shea Stakes (2200m) a fortnight ago.