Chocante aims to stay on track for Metrop
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Stephen Marsh has watched a replay of the Chelmsford Stakes several times, but not to marvel at Red Excitement's bold breakaway or super mare Winx's relentless finish.

The New Zealand trainer instead focused on the third-placed horse, a stayer who exceeded his expectations at Randwick.

Chocante produced a Sydney debut that has the five-year-old among the frontrunners for the Group One Metropolitan Handicap (2400m) on September 30.

'I thought the run was well above expectations. He's not a miler at all. It usually takes 2000 metres to show his best,' Marsh said.

Chocante tackles that distance in the Group Three Kingston Town Stakes at Randwick on Saturday.

Marsh said Chocante struggled to figure over the mile at home and felt his Queensland campaign, highlighted by his win in the Group Two Brisbane Cup (2200m) in June, was the catalyst for dramatic improvement.

'He was quite an immature type and he's just strengthened up mentally and physically. He seems pretty much the complete package now,' he said.

Chocante was an $81 chance in the Chelmsford thanks to Winx's presence, and is now the Metropolitan's joint $11 second favourite alongside Big Duke, Life Less Ordinary and Sayed.

Antonio Giuseppe and Up 'N' Rolling lead the market at $8.

'That's encouraging. He'd near on go to favourite if he put his hand up on Saturday,' Marsh said.

Blake Shinn rides Chocante on Saturday after his commitments in Melbourne left Rory Hutchings with the reins in the Chelmsford.

Marsh said Shinn was sought because he could ride at 55kg, the weight he anticipates Chocante will get in the Metropolitan, 4kg less than he carried at weight-for-age in the Chelmsford.

'Rory did a great job but he would have been battling to make the 55kg,' he said.

Marsh was also interested in the Melbourne Cup weights after they were released on Tuesday with Chocante to carry 53kg should he make the field.

'We'll take it if gets a run. I thought it'd be a little bit less but we're happy,' he said.

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