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By Graham Potter | Saturday, November 19, 2022

The Peter and Will Hulbert trained Hail Manhattan has always been a very honest performer, a fact which was arguably not fairly represented in his starting price of $31 when he lined up for the $150 000 Mooloolaba Cup over 1600m at the Sunshine Coast on November 19.

Not that those who supported him in the betting market cared about that at all when the gelding repaid the faith by putting in the hard yards to secure his eighth career victory under a determined ride from Mark Du Plessis.

The six-year-old son of Manhattan Rain went into the race having won seven times previously. He had also finished second on a further eight occasions ... six of those when less than a length behind the winner, suggesting his record could have been even better with a slice of luck.

He didn’t need any luck here.

Du Plessis chased Hail Manhattan straight into the leading line from the break before going back to settle sixth as the speed came around him early in the back straight.

Hail Manhattan was then placed seventh, some five lengths off the leader at the start of the sweep to the turn ... travelling comfortably. He was still seventh, now swinging four wide, as the field came to the home turn and there was still a little over four lengths for him to make up on straightening.

In other words, there was still work to do ... but Manhattan Rain was more than equal to the task.

At the 350m mark Du Plessis asked Manhattan Rain to go through his gears and he duly accelerated on cue. By the 200m he was already in front, but, with a host of challengers around him, he still had to knuckle down and show some real commitment over the closing stages to ward off a host of rivals who had been snapping at his heels.

Again, Hail Manhattan didn’t blink, showing just how tough a competitor he is by kicking on strongly to the line under the urgings of Du Plessis to claim a well-deserved feature race victory.

Du Plessis’s knowledge of the horse here was arguably one of the telling factors in the result with the vastly experienced rider having been aboard Hail Manhattan in five of his last six starts.

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Photos: Graham Potter
Photos: Graham Potter
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