News In Brief
Mature Chocante a force to be reckoned with
Cambridge trainer Stephen Marsh believes Chocante is now at the height of his powers.
“He was quite an immature type and he’s just strengthened up mentally and physically,” he said. “He seems pretty much the complete package.”
Chocante has a further opportunity to boost his chances for the Gr.1 The Metropolitan (2400m) on September 30 with another bold showing in the Gr.3 Kingston Town Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on Saturday.
In his Sydney debut, Chocante finished third behind Winx in the Gr.2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m).
“I thought the run was well above expectations,” Marsh said. “He’s not a miler at all. It usually takes 2000m to show his best.”
Speedy youngster shines
Smart filly Queen Of The Air made a good impression in her first trial appearance at Avondale on Thursday.
The daughter of I Am Invincible was clearly the fastest of the juveniles on display when the Stephen Autridge and Jamie Richards-trained youngster led all the way to cut out 600m in 35.56 under Opie Bosson.
“She’s a very precocious filly, a real two-year-old type and nominated for the Golden Slipper,” Te Akau principal David Ellis said.
Horse travel restrictions
Restrictions on horse movements between Australia and Hong Kong threaten Australian involvement in international events in the Asian racing capital.
The Hong Kong Jockey Club has expressed its disappointment at the decision by the Australian Government's Department of Agriculture and Water Resources to suspend equine movement pending a review of biosecurity protocols related to the Equine Disease Free Zone between Hong Kong and Conghua on the Chinese mainland.
The HKJC is scheduled to open the Conghua Training Centre in the third quarter of 2018.
The club said the implications included Hong Kong horses transported to Australia via New Zealand will require 180 days’ residency in New Zealand.
The DAWR has informed the Hong Kong Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department it intends to suspend horse movements to Australia from October 2.
Mile key to Ecuador’s chances
High Chaparral’s New Zealand-bred son Ecuador is expected to appreciate the distance of Saturday’s Gr.1 George Main Stakes (1600m) at Randwick.
“He’s going really well and 1600 metres is probably getting up to his preferred trip now,” co-trainer Adrian Bott said. “Last start he showed he was looking for a little bit further so the step up is ideal.”
The multiple stakes-winning eight-year-old finished fourth in the Gr.2 Tramway Stakes (1400m) last time out.
Draw worries Waller
Antonio Giuseppe’s barrier is trainer Chris Waller’s only concern ahead of the New Zealand stayer’s bid for glory in the Gr.3 Kingston Town Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on Saturday.
“It’s a shame he’s drawn so wide because he is ready to win,” he said. “He’s got good form coming out of a Group Two mile race last start at weight-for-age.
“He’s well suited by the set weights and penalties. He’s come up really well and is up to a more suitable distance. He’ll just need some luck from the gate.”
Antonio Giuseppe got home late last time out to finish fourth behind stablemate Winx in the Gr.2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m).