Phillip Stokes’ Sir John Monash Stakes winning...
Progressive Kiwi stayer Chocante is on a 2017 Melbourne Cup mission down under this spring chasing a win in the world’s most famous two-mile handicap as his sire Shocking did back in 2009.
Trained across the Tasman by the Cambridge-based Stephen Marsh, the rising five-year-old is set to race exclusively in Australia this coming prep.
Chocante was last seen showing off his staying potential with a three and a quarter-length victory over Single Gaze at Doomben on June 10 in the Group 2 Brisbane Cup (2200m).
That upset win as a $15 outsider was the up-and-comer’s first success since a Group 3 back home in November last year.
The horse is as yet untested over further than 2200m, but his pedigree has two miles written all over it.
Marsh plans to full test Chocante’s breeding this spring and has confirmed plans to set the galloper on a mission towards the first Tuesday of November in the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m).
“He’s back in the stable now and we’ve thought all along that the ultimate goal would be the Melbourne Cup,” Marsh told the New Zealand Racing Desk.
Leading up to Melbourne Cup Day at Flemington Racecourse, Chocante will have an earlier spring bid in Sydney.
“He could have a trial here, but Sydney will tell us where he is at and the tracks there are more likely to offer the sting out of them,” Marsh said.
“We would be worried about giving him too many starts on firm ground.”
First-up Marsh has Randwick’s $250,000 Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) on September 2 in mind for Chocante followed by the $150,000 Group 3 Kingston Town Stakes (2000m) second-up on September 16, with the stable to seek a local rider.
“We’ll decide on riding engagements closer to the time, but I would say that we will be looking for a Sydney-based jockey,” he said.
The first elite level test for the Melbourne Cup-bound New Zealander will come on September 30 at Royal Randwick on Epsom Handicap Day in the $750,000 Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m) over the mile and a half.
From there a trip south to Melbourne is on the cards and Chocante is currently rated an $81 roughie in futures Melbourne Cup betting at Ladbrokes.com.au that is dominated by the international raiders.
To back Chocante over his spring racing campaign down under at the right price and to check out the full all-in 2017 Melbourne Cup odds visit Ladbrokes.com.au today.
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