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By Graham Potter | Friday, December 2, 2022

The Jan Aitkenhead trained A Big Chance prevailed under a strong ride from Mark Du Plessis to claim his fifth career win in a BM70 contest over 1600m at the Sunshine Coast on December 2.

The six-year-old chestnut gelding had put the writing on the wall to some degree at his previous start when finishing within 0.50 lengths of the useful winner Circling, who was winning for the second time in three starts on that occasion, and the son of Shinzig held that form which, this time translated into a winning effort.

A Big Chance, who had Du Plessis in the saddle for the first time, started second favourite at $4 behind the $2.45 main fancy Calm Seeker, who had a 2.5kg favourable pull at the weights over the Aitkenhead runner.

Du Plessis took A Big Chance back from his wide draw (barrier six in a field of six) and he was content to give his market rival Calm Seeker (who settled in third place) a three length start as he loped along some five lengths off the speed in last place.

Du Plessis was patience personified as he kept A Big Chance at the rear at an easy gallop.

A Big Chance lost a further length on Calm Seeker when the latter went up to challenge for the lead in the middle of the sweep to the home turn and it was only on the final approach to the turn that Du Plessis elected to start pushing A Big Chance out that little bit more.

In spite of that, A Big Chance remained firmly in last place in the first half of the straight ... still with those four lengths to find on Calm Seeker who was now claiming the lead.

Even with 200m left to run ... still in last place ... it looked like anything Du Plessis could encourage from A Big Chance would be too little, too late ... but that did not turn out to be the case.

Once A Big Chance got the message, he extended with meaning, coming down the outside of runners, making ground up rapidly down the centre of the track.

Such was the momentum with which a Big Chance arrived on the scene that very quickly all he had left to peg back was Calm Seeker who, in spite of his best efforts, had now become something of a sitting duck and Du Plessis and a Big Chance ultimately had enough in hand to reel in the favourite when it mattered most to win by a 0.30 length margin.

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Photos: Graham Potter
Photos: Graham Potter
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