Double for Marsh stable

Steohen Marsh's scowl turned into a smile at the sight of Chocante overcoming a poor passage to win at Te Rapa yesterday.

Steohen Marsh’s scowl turned into a smile at the sight of Chocante overcoming a tough run to win at Te Rapa yesterday.

Cambridge trainer Stephen Marsh is looking ahead with some confidence over the prospects of his charges Chocante and Our Patriarch.

The pair recorded sound wins at Te Rapa yesterday and Marsh was pleasantly surprised by both performances.

After being trapped three-wide, Chocante’s chances in the Diamond Lodge 1600 didn’t look good, but the four-year-old unleashed a huge late finish to grab victory by a short head over Snow Secret.

It was Chocante’s third win from eight starts and his second in succession after scoring over 1400 at Matamata earlier in the month.

“He’s really furnished now and is going to go a fair way,” said Marsh. “He’s taken the step up from Rating 65 and now he looks like he can step up to 2000.

“That was a huge effort today. When I saw where he was in the running I didn’t think he could win. And it was a good field, too.”

Rider Danielle Johnson was dreading the reaction from Marsh and the stable crew when she was trapped wide on Chocante.

“I knew they would be cursing me when I was three-wide,” said Johnson.

A race later it was Michael Coleman in the saddle on Our Patriarch and he guided the Iffraaj four-year-old to his second win from six starts.

Coleman has been Our Patriarch’s regular rider this campaign and was also aboard in his maiden win, at Avondale last June.

Going into yesterday’s meeting Our Patriarch had finished second behind Battlefield over 1600 at Ellerslie on a Slow9 track.

“Michael said last start if he gets a slightly better track he would go close to winning,” said Marsh. “He was right. He rode him beautifully.”

Coleman has a good opinion of Our Patriarch and believes he can go on from yesterday’s win.

“He’s a big, strong horse with a big stride,” said Coleman. “He’s still a bit immature. He might be a nice staying horse next autumn.”

Marsh also feels Our Patriarch will improve further.

“He’s got a bright future with time,” said Marsh. “I thought it was a very good field today and I’m quite proud of him.”