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By Graham Potter | Saturday, April 9, 2022

When a horse gets up in a super pressurised finish where less than two lengths covers the first eight runners across the line, you know that both horse and jockey has done well.

When you add in the fact that the winner jumped from a number eleven barrier draw and that the $18 odds about his chances suggested that punters were not expecting too much from the horse, the taste of victory becomes even more sweeter.

That was the story of the Shaun Dwyer trained Last Chance and jockey Mark Du Plessis, whose efforts prevailed in a thriller when taking out an Open Quality Handicap over 1350m at Doomben on April 9.

Du Plessis wasted no time in putting Last Chance in a prominent position as he chased Last Chance from his wide barrier to land in the leading line. Last Chance was a close-up third in a line of three early, but Du Plessis, having established a position he was happy with, eased Last Chance out of that early speed battle, going back to third and then fourth when another runner came around him … but he was now holding the fence.

Last Chance held the box seat run until straightening, where he now faced the task of reeling in the duelling stable companions Run For Glory ($21) and Ulysses ($2.90), having three lengths make up on the leaders at that stage.

With a subtle switch off the rail to ensure a clear run home, Last Chance stuck gamely to his task and began to close on the leaders with meaning approaching the 100m mark.

Pushed out strongly by Du Plessis, Last Chance got to the lead inside the 75m mark, but had no room for error as Ulysses was still kicking on strongly and the fast finishing $101 outsider Hilo was leading the cavalry charge from behind, arriving with a late rattle.

The ride had been a perfect one though and Last Chance had followed every directive from the saddle with absolute credit … meaning that the 0.20 length victory was thoroughly well deserved.

This was Last Chance’s fourth start for the Shawn Dwyer stable since relocating from the Olivia Cairns yard. The six-year-old son of Written Tycoon is a bit of a veteran having now put together an overall race record of fifteen wins from forty-nine starts … and doubtless, all of that experience served him well in such a keen contest.

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Photos: Graham Potter
Photos: Graham Potter
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