Spring Carnival plans are in the pipeline for New Zealand stayer Chocante following his all the way win in the Group 2 $300,000 Evergreen Turf Brisbane Cup (2200m) at Doomben last Saturday.
Kiwi trainer Stephen Marsh said that while a Spring Carnival campaign has yet to be mapped out, Chocante will be definitely be making a second trip across the Tasman in September.
“The horse is home now and hopefully it’s all guns blazing for Melbourne in the spring,” Marsh told New Zealand Racing News.
“There are a few options for Chocante in the spring and we’re certainly not ruling out heading to Sydney first.
“I will have a meeting with the owners and discuss whether we give him one run in New Zealand or head straight to Australia.”
Chocante had worked his way up through the grades in New Zealand with his best win on his home soil being the Group 3 NZ$100,000 Counties Cup (2100m) at Pukekohe on November 19 last year.
A bold front running ride on Chocante in the Brisbane Cup wrapped up a great Brisbane Winter Carnival for top Brisbane jockey Jim Byrne who had early in the day won the Group 1 $600,000 BMW J.J. Atkins (1600m) on local two year old Capital Gain.
Byrne had also claimed another Group 1 prize earlier in the Carnival with another all the way win on the Team Snowden trained Redzel in the Group 1 $700,000 James Boag’s Premium Doomben 10000 (1200m) at Doomben on May 13.
Chocante’s first run in Brisbane produced a third behind Stampede and The Chairman in the Group 3 $125,000 AQWA Constructions Chairman’s Handicap (2000m) at Doomben on May 13 but the four year old then failed to handle the shifty Eagle Farm track a fortnight later when tenth to Kaiser Franz in the Group 3 $125,000 Channel Seven Premier’s Cup (2200m) on Kingsford-Smith Cup Race Day.
The Eagle Farm track came in for some heavy criticism following a below par performance which resulted in Racing Queensland shifting the remaining three Group 1 days of the Brisbane Winter Carnival to Doomben.
Marsh admits that if the Brisbane Cup had been run at Eagle Farm where it was originally scheduled, he would not have run Chocante in the Brisbane Cup and would have waited to go around in the Listed $175,000 Channel 7 Ipswich Cup (2150m) at Ipswich this weekend.
“I don’t want to be one to go on about the track but we were going to up stumps and go to the Ipswich Cup if they didn’t change venues,” Marsh told Sky Racing.
“We were rapt when they brought it back to Doomben.”
Chocante has been slotted into the Caulfield Cup betting at Ladbrokes.com.au at $41 while in Melbourne Cup betting the Cambridge trained gelding is rated an $81 chance.