Jim Byrne signed off on a memorable Stradbroke day with a flourish when he rode Chocante to an all-the-way win in the Group Two Brisbane Cup at Doomben.
Byrne was successful in the Group One J Atkins aboard Capital Gain who produced a barnstorming victory 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 3-1/4 lengths.
Runner-up Single Gaze ($7), shouldering topweight of 59kg, was brave in defeat 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 trainer Stephen 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 wrapped 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 Saturday’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.”