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By Graham Potter | Wednesday, April 5, 2023

The lightly raced four-year-old gelding Time To Testify came to Ipswich on April 5 to contest a Maiden Plate, dropping back in distance from 1600m to 1350m after a brief freshen-up.

The Shaun Dwyer trained son of Spill The Beans, who was only having his eighth start, did have two reasonable previous city results, both on a Wednesday at Eagle Farm, to recommend his chances ... a fourth placed finish behind Wonderful Rayray, who would win again next time out, and a runner-up finish behind Poetic Drama, who would similarly frank that form by scoring another win two runs later.

And, while not setting the town alight, Time To Testify last run before going into this Ipswich contest resulted in a fair fourth place, when only 2.40 lengths off the winner over the 1600m trip.

Even though the potential in these runs was recognised by punters with Time To Testify starting second favourite at $4, if the betting boards were to be believed, there did appear to be a very large hurdle to overcome in the form of the year younger chestnut gelding Simple Way from the O’Dea /Hoysted stable who was backed almost to the exclusion of the rest of the field, starting at the prohibitive odds of $1.85.

Time To Testify jumped beautifully at the break. Du Plessis ensured he would hold his position and the advantage that came with it from the number two barrier draw, but he did let the very keenly contested chase for the early lead go, initially settling Time To Testify in fifth place.

Time To Testify, with the benefit of that inside run coupled with the fact that he was travelling very well, made up a couple of places quickly in the sweep to the home turn before moving into a clear second place shortly before straightening.

By now he had the front-running Italian Virtuoso ($26) well with in his sights and, although the long-shot fought on well, so too did Time To Testify who did take the measure of Italian Virtuoso inside the final 150m, but one big threat still remained.

That threat came from the hot favourite Simple Way, who had raced will back early. He was third last and some four lengths behind Time to Testify for much of the early running. Although he did improve his position approaching the home turn, Simple Way was doing that out wide to the point where he straightened four wide on the turn, still three lengths behind Time To Testify.

The favourite did not help himself by then trying to run in halfway up the straight, but that was not Time To Testify’s problem as Du Plessis kept the Dwyer trained runners on an absolutely straight path to the line, where he arrived with only a margin of a nose to spare over Simple Way who was simply flying in the closing stages.

This was a tough win, one executed under a perfect ride by Du Plessis and the gameness of Time To Testify, who sustained a relatively long run to deservedly claim the first win of his career.

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Shaun Dwyer
Shaun Dwyer
Time To Testify (above and below)
Time To Testify (above and below)
Photos: Graham Potter
Photos: Graham Potter
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