Stephen Marsh is confident Chocante is on track for this year's Melbourne Cup after his encouraging third in the Group 1 Metropolitan (2400m) at Randwick last Saturday.

Having his third start this campaign, Chocante went down a length and three-quarters to Foundry with Big Duke splitting the pair.

"I thought it was a great run," Marsh said. "He's improved with each run and there's more improvement in him.

"Corey [Brown] was more than happy with him and he wants to stick with him."


Marsh plans to run Chocante next in the A$500,000 St Leger (2600m) at Randwick on Saturday week.

"It's a new race on Everest day and it's always been in the back of our minds," the Cambridge trainer said.

"He's in the Caulfield Cup, but we're not hell bent on starting in it. We'll make the next payment and see how he goes in the St Leger. The Melbourne Cup is the main aim."

Chocante produced a big first-up effort for third to the champion Winx in the Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m), then was ridden upside down when taken to the front a long way from home in the Group 3 Kingston Town Stakes (2000m) in finishing seventh to Libran.

Meanwhile, Marsh will turn his attention to the Hawke's Bay meeting on Saturday and Sofia Rosa's tilt at the Group 1 Livamol Classic (2040m).

Marsh believes the step up in distance will aid the Group 1 Australian Oaks winner, but admits she needs to lift her game after her disappointing 10th in the Group 1 Windsor Park Plate (1600m). "She's bright enough so I hope she goes well," Marsh said.

Between times Sofia Rosa has been served by champion sire Savabeel.

- NZ Racing Desk