Chocante completes big day for Byrne with Brisbane Cup victory Sat, 10 Jun 2017

Stephen Rodgers
Brisbane jockey Jim Byrne completes a big day as he takes the Brisbane Cup on the Stephen Marsh-trained Chocante.
Brisbane jockey Jim Byrne completes a big day as he takes the Brisbane Cup on the Stephen Marsh-trained Chocante.
ULTI-CEPS: Equine's best kept secret!
Air Support 480ml

Jim Byrne signed off on a memorable Stradbroke day with a flourish today when he rode Chocante to an all-the-way win in the Gr. 2 Brisbane Cup at Doomben.

Byrne was previously successful in the Gr. 1 JJ Atkins aboard Capital Gain, who produced a barnstorming finish from near last to score narrowly.

Chocante ($18) was taken to the lead soon after the start by Byrne before dashing clear in the straight to win the Cup by three and a quarter lengths.

Trained in Cambridge by Stephen Marsh, Chocante became the second New Zealand-trained Brisbane Cup winner in a row following Benzini's win 12 months ago. The previous two winners, Floria and Jetset Lad, were also Kiwi-bred and began their careers in New Zealand.

Runner-up Single Gaze ($7), shouldering topweight of 59 kilograms, was brave in defeat today after backing up from her win in the PJ O'Shea Stakes a week earlier.

Byrne was confident Chocante would bounce back in the Brisbane Cup despite finishing 10th, beaten 10 lengths, in the Premier's Cup (2200m) at Eagle Farm on May 27.

"I told them after he ran at Eagle Farm not to worry because he didn't handle that track at all," Byrne said.

"Funnily enough even though the track today was good I was a bit worried that it might be a bit jarry for him, but he let down really quickly when I went for him."

After Chocante's Eagle Farm flop, Marsh was resigned to missing the Brisbane Cup but had a change of heart when the meeting was transferred to Doomben.

"I don't want to be one to go on about the track, but we were going to up stumps and go to the Ipswich Cup if they didn't change venues," Marsh said.

"We were rapt when they moved it to Doomben. We've been ultra happy with him all the way through and I'm delighted he's proved it today."

By winning the Cup, Marsh emulated the feat of his father Bruce who was successful with Marlon in 1986.

A trip to Melbourne for the spring carnival is on the agenda for Chocante, who will spell after today's win.

"We'll give him every chance to prove that he's up to that level, and if he isn't right up to the very best, there's a few tiers down that you can still run in for good money," Marsh said. "We'll aim high and see where we get to."