Dream double for Marsh family a step closer

Chocante racing away with the Brisbane Cup. Can he add the Melbourne Cup to his record?

New Zealand stayer Chocante has one more test to pass to keep the Marsh family in with a shot at a unique Melbourne Cup family double.

Should the son of Shocking run up to expectations in Saturday’s St Leger Stakes (2600m) at Randwick, a start in the Melbourne Cup (3200m) beckons.

Chocante is prepared at Cambridge by Stephen Marsh, whose father, Bruce, rode Silver Knight to win the 1971 Cup at Flemington before embarking on a successful training career in New Zealand and, for the past 12 years, Singapore.

On his departure, Stephen took sole charge of their stables at Woodville and Awapuni before shifting the operation to Cambridge in 2008.

Marsh, who enjoyed Group 1 success in Australia with the ATC Oaks winner Sofia Rosa, said Chocante was in top order for the weekend’s assignment.

“He keeps improving with each run and the step-up to 2600 metres will be ideal for him,” he said. “We’re very happy with him and a shower of rain would be perfect.

“As long as he runs well, we will definitely be going to Melbourne and then we would look at the options before the Cup.

“He’s 28th in order of entry at the moment and, going by past years at this stage, we’d be looking comfortable to get a start. But we’ll wait and see and get Saturday out of the way first.”

Corey Brown guided Chocante to a last-start third in the Gr.1 The Metropolitan (2400m) and he will again be aboard last season’s G2 Brisbane Cup (2200m) winner in the St Leger.

  • NZ Racing Desk