Racing

Chocante bounces back with blinkers

Baertschiger-trained winner is the middle leg of a treble for Duric

Reunited with his last winning jockey Vlad Duric and donning blinkers for the first time, Chocante bounced back to winning ways in the $50,000 Class 4 Division 1 race over the Polytrack 1,100m on Saturday.

Between this win and the last on March 15 were four starts, which included a third in Class 3 when ridden by A'Isisuhairi Kasim.

Matthew Kellady and top apprentice Simon Kok were the other two who rode the horse.

Saturday's triumph was his fifth from 31 starts, taking his earnings to about $260,000.

Former Kranji champion jockey Barend Vorster was the first to score on the Australian-bred - at his third start on Nov 19, 2017 - in an Initiation contest over the Poly 1,100m.

John Powell was the next to win on the bay gelding in a Class 4 Premier event over 1,200m on turf on March 4, 2018.

Then it was Hong Kong's Matthew Poon who steered the horse to victory in another Class 4 race on Nov 11, 2018.

Trainer Shane Baertschiger actually thought Saturday's 1,100m trip would be too sharp for his charge.

But, under Duric's determined ride, the Fastnet Rock six-year-old overhauled an equally resilient Headhunter (Marc Lerner) to poke his head in front where it mattered. He clocked 1min 04.77sec.

"He won five starts ago with Vlad in a 1,200m race. I thought 1,100m would be too short, but he was wearing blinkers for the first time since his first start," said the Australian trainer.

"I just told Vlad to ride him where he was happy and he rode him a treat. But, to me, the horse is more of a 1,200m horse."

The addition of blinkers for the first time since his debut run more than three years ago did not really see the $43 chance move up closer to the speed.

But a midfield berth certainly helped him save his petrol for that crucial last assault.

Chocante was the middle leg of a treble for Duric. He also won on the Michael Clements-trained Tigarous ($32) in Race 1 and Marikh ($16) in Race 4.

The treble has taken his season's tally to 63, nine winners clear of Brazilian Ruan Maia, who did not ride on Saturday as he was suspended.

HORSE RACING