Marsh eyeing Sydney for Chocante

Chocante, pictured beating El Pistola in the Ssangyoung Counties Cup, will be looking to add Saturday's Manawatu Cup to his winning tally.

Chocante, pictured beating El Pistola in the Ssangyoung Counties Cup, will be looking to add Saturday’s Manawatu Cup to his winning tally.

Cambridge trainer Stephen Marsh has a long-term Australian plan for his rising staying star Chocante.

He has been far from surprised by the rapid progress of the four-year-old, who won’t be over-taxed through the summer.

“He’s always looked like a top cups horse in the making, he’s very progressive with a very bright future,” said Marsh. “We’ll look after him and he’ll probably only have a couple more runs before we give him a break and we could well be looking at Sydney in the autumn.”

A son of Shocking, Chocante, broke his maiden as a three-year-old in April and following further successes in the spring at Matamata and Te Rapa he was an impressive last-start winner of the Gr.3 Counties Cup.

At Pukekohe he sat three wide without cover and was still able to round his effort off strongly in the run home for a clear-cut victory.

“He’s done well and I wanted to give him a bit of time between runs,” said Marsh.

“The Manawatu Cup will be his next start and I’m pretty relaxed about things after Saturday. I’ll wait and see how he comes through Awapuni and maybe look at the City of Auckland Cup.”

Chocante will have a change of rider this weekend with Danielle Johnson replacing Craig Grylls, who pleaded guilty to a charge of careless riding at Ellersie yesterday and was suspended for three days.

Meanwhile, stablemate No More Tears has been set for a New Year’s Day Group One feature.

“She’s back in the stable and she’ll run in the Railway at Ellerslie in a fresh state,” said Marsh.

No More Tears, who has two first-up victories to her credit, hasn’t raced since she finished a close eighth in the Gr.2 Auckland Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes.

– NZ Racing Desk.