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By Graham Potter | Saturday, July 23, 2022

Landing a Saturday Metropolitan double will always put a spring in your step and Mark Du Plessis would have been a happy man leaving Doomben on July 23 after scoring aboard Puntura and Oakfield Twilight … the first and the last leg of the Quaddie … given him his second Saturday Metropolitan double for the month of July.

Puntura came into a BM90 Handicap over 1615m off the back of an impressive win (when easily accounting for the useful Glitter Strip by 3.80 lengths) in a BM78 contest over 1400m at the Sunshine Coast three weeks earlier.

That Sunshine Coast win came on a heavy track, and Puntura got that racing surface again at Doomben which was one of the reasons for him starting favourite at $2.90 … a position on the betting boards that he ultimately fully justified.

Du Plessis had Puntura off and running at the break but, with the $18 outsider Wham wanting the lead more, Du Plessis had Puntura take the sit just off the leader, moving comfortably in second place just a length back as Wham took the field down the early part of the back straight.

When Burning Hero ($6.50) made a move from third place to take up the running going through the 1000m mark, Du Plessis quickly slipped Puntura past Wham, this retaining second spot.

Broken Hero held a length-and-a-half lead over Puntura throughout the sweep to the home turn but, when Wendy Peel on Broken Hero tried to kick away and steal the race on straightening … and momentarily did go a touch over two lengths clear of Puntura … Du Plessis took aim at the frontrunner and asked Puntura to start to close ground.

The son of Our Vespa was quickly on his bike, and he quickly reeled in a now fast tiring Broken Hero to hit the lead full of running with 180m left to run.

The Chris Waller trained Easifar, the $4.60 second favourite, did chase Puntura all the way to the line, but the Barry Baldwin trained runner always had the measure of Easifar and the win was arguably a little more comfortable than the official one length margin of victory suggests.

Overall, this was Puntura’s seventh win in sixteen starts and his third win in seven starts … the last two of those wins coming coming in successive outings …since transferring from trainer Robbie Pattersen to the Barry Baldwin stable.

Three races later Du Plessis would complete the race-day double aboard Oakfield Twilight in controversial circumstances.

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Photos: Graham Potter
Photos: Graham Potter
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