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The John Thompson-trained Chat has scored an upset win in the Theo Marks Stakes

Apprentice Brock Ryan has continued his heady start to the spring, following his breakthrough Group-race win on Jamaea with a Theo Marks Stakes victory aboard outsider Chat.

Big Parade was a heavily supported favourite for Saturday’s 1300m feature but wanted to overdo things in front and he was a spent force halfway up the straight.

Embracer ($15) was the first to claim him and shot clear before Ryan produced Chat ($31) from midfield to run down the Tulloch Lodge gelding by a long neck with Big Parade ($1.95 fav) clinging to third another 1-1/4 lengths away.

Ryan has endured a tough run with injuries but has been making every post a winner since returning from a broken leg he suffered in the autumn.

He notched a four-winner haul at Rosehill in July then celebrated his first black-type success when he won the Furious Stakes on Jamaea last weekend.

Ryan backed it up with another perfectly timed finish aboard Chat and said he was thrilled to be getting chances to compete in the better races.

“I’m getting great opportunities and I’ve been able to capitalise on them the last few months,” Ryan said.

“It’s good to be able to get the job done for these trainers.

“It was a good set-up for him today. There was always going to be solid tempo. It was a funny run race, they ripped along all in one line and I had the nice sit on him and peeled out and he let down really good.”

Winning trainer John Thompson wasn’t on track but stable representative Danielle Podlewski said Chat thrived on having his runs spaced.

“We were really happy with the horse this week,” Podlewski said.

“He had had three weeks between runs, which he enjoys. This was a big step up in grade for him, but he proved he was up to it.”

Podlewski said there were no concrete plans for Chat and they had been approaching his preparation on a race-by-race basis.

Icebath made late headway to finish fifth, while Private Eye had limited room in the straight and wasn’t disgraced in finishing seventh.

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