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By Graham Potter | Thursday, July 14, 2022

The Tina Cotsiopoulos trained Hopeful Star claimed the fourth win of her career under jockey Mark Du Plessis when she took out a Class 3 Handicap over 1690m at Ipswich on July 14.

Three runner-up finishes in her last four starts leading into this Ipswich assignment was recommendation enough for Hopeful Star to start favourite here, albeit narrowly, being quoted at $3.40 with the Helen Page trained Du Maurier on offer at $3.50.

Du Plessis was content to let the early speed go as he settled Hopeful Star, who jumped from barrier one, in fifth spot on the rail, some four to five lengths off the lead in the early part, a position he held at a comfortable gallop all the way through the sweep to the home turn.

As the $14 outsider Willinga Panache shot clear, trying to steal the race approaching the home turn, so too did several runners begin their runs on the outside of Hopeful Star, but that inside run was going to prove invaluable as Du Plessis saved ground, hugging the rail on Hopeful Star … waiting … before setting his mount about her business on straightening.

That route had Hopeful Star making up ground quickly early in the straight where she made it a line of three runners … along with Derani (another $14 chance) and Du Maurier … giving chase as Willinga Panache who still held a lead of three lengths, but the long-time leader was now showing signs of tiring.

Things became pretty tight with 100m left to run and the scrimmage that occurred there unfolded in favour of Hopeful Star.

At that crucial stage Willinga Panache weakened and began to shift ground, which had Karl Zechner having to take avoiding action on Derani, who was taken off stride and became very unbalanced, while at the same the same time Du Maurier was left where nowhere to go … but the rail run remained open for Hopeful Star and Du Plessis needed no second asking as he forced the Cotsiopoulos trained through the gap and into the lead.

Derani did come back at Hopeful Star, but the latter held her to the line to score by 0.20 lengths in what had turned out to be an eventful finish.

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Photos: Graham Potter
Photos: Graham Potter
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