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By Graham Potter | Saturday, June 18, 2022

Mark Du Plessis and trainer previously Michael Nolan enjoyed great success with the then stable star Kisukano in the first half of 2020.

After nine starts Kisukano was a six-time winner with Du Plessis having partnered the daughter of Belle Esprit in four of those victories … a run of results which included a big race success in the $500 000 Aquis QTIS Two-Year-old Jewel, when beating the likes of Rothfire.

The old firm was back together on Ipswich Cup Day (June 18) with Du Plessis being handed the reins of the Nolan trained Princess Bojack for the first time in the filly’s nineteen starts.

The race was a QTIS Three-Year-Old Handicap over 1100m and Princess Bojack came into the contest on the back of three promising placed finishes … two third places (perhaps significantly both at Ipswich) and a second place in town.

In spite of that show of some promise, Princess Bojack was totally unwanted in the betting going off at a starting price of $41.

She didn’t know that … and she put in an effort which made a mockery of her place on the betting boards.

Du Plessis made absolutely certain that he made the most of Princess Bojack’s number one barrier draw. He landed in the leading line and then was content to let the speed to his outside go around him early, settled Princess Bojack in a rail hugging fourth spot, at a comfortable gallop just three lengths off the lead.

Du Plessis left the rail as the field straightened off the home turn, switching two wide, to take up the challenge as the runners began to extend as things started getting serious.

The $3.80 favourite Coco Rox, who had been very slow away, was the first to be called the likely winner in the straight, ranging up in-between the early leaders Yes Dream ($8) and Rubiquitous ($12).

The favourite actually gained a narrow lead with 200m left to run. Yes Dream was now gone. Rubiquitous was still right there and, all the while, Du Plessis had Princess Bojack running on steadily.

Seventy-five metres out Coco Rox peaked on her run. Rubiquitous regained the lead and was fighting on strongly … but Princess Bojack was still coming.

It had all built up to a rousing finish and, when it mattered most, Du Plessis took Princess Bojack passed the game Rubiquitous and then had the Michael Nolan trained runner stretch her neck out on the line, a push that was needed to keep the late flying Miss Hipstar at bay, which she managed to do, but only by the very narrowest of margins.

All credit to Michael Nolan for having Princess Bojack ready to put in the hard yards when required, to the horse itself for responding so well to the challenge and last, but certainly not least, to Mark Du Plesssis for a ride which showed both tactical judgement in setting up the victory and strength in the saddle which helped Princess Bojack to prevail in a pressurised finish.

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Photos: Graham Potter</B.
Photos: Graham Potter
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