Brisbane focus for Chocante


The well-performed stayer Chocante is building up toward a return to the Queensland winter carnival.

The son of Shocking won the Gr.2 Brisbane Cup (2200m) last year and a subsequent Sydney campaign resulted in third placings in the Gr.1 The Metropolitan (2400m) and the Gr.2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m).

“He’s back up to three-quarter pace in his work and we’ll be looking toward Brisbane again with him,” trainer Stephen Marsh said.

Chocante, who also won the Gr.3 Counties Cup (2100m) in 2016, hasn’t raced since he was unplaced in the Gr.1 Captain Cook Stakes (1600m) at Trentham in early December.

Meanwhile, Group One-winning stablemate Ugo Foscolo has been on the easy list after one run back in New Zealand.

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Following a frustrating stint in Sydney, he returned home but failed to flatter when tailing the field home when resuming in an open sprint at Matamata last month.

“He pulled up with a few niggling issues, nothing that can’t be fixed though,” Marsh said.

“He’ll be ready for a run along at the end of the week and he’ll trial before he goes back to the races, but he won’t be doing too much this preparation.”

Marsh prepared Ugo Foscolo to win five of his first six starts, including the Gr.1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) before the son of Zacinto joined Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott. He had one unplaced outing for them before returning to New Zealand.