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By Graham Potter | Sunday, June 18, 2023

With his win in a BM75 Handicap over 1200m at the Sunshine Coast on June 18, Be Water My Friend, the Matthew Park trained son of Headwater, became a five-time winner … and he has been ridden to victory in the last four of those occasions by Mark Du Plessis.

Park is the fourth trainer to have Be Water My Friend in his stables … and he is by far the most successful having guided the now five-year-old to fours wins, a second place and a third place in the ten starts he has had for the stable to date.

After a rousing start, with three wins in his first five starts for the Park stable between July 9, 2022 and September 24, 2022 … Water My Friend’s results did taper off with four unplaced runs.

It should be noted those races … all in town … were won by the likes of Starvirgo (an eight-time winner), Far Too Easy (a seven-time winner and, for a while, considered a Stradbroke candidate), Arentee (a five-time winner) and Antino (a new star on the block who has won eight of nine starts).

In all but the Antino clash, the last of that sequence, Du Plessis was in the saddle and he was straight back in the irons for Be Water My Friend’s Sunshine Coast assignment where the horse dropped in class … but that ‘advantage’ was very much evened out by the fact that Be Water My Friend had to carry 61kg, a significant 5kg weight rise from his two previous starts.

The number two barrier draw and a clean start prompted Du Plessis to push Be Water My Friend, a $5 chance, forward early and he quickly took up the running, edging into a three-quarter-of-a-length lead over Rich Lister ($12).

One there, Du Plessis settled Be Water My Friend into a more comfortable rhythm which allowed the Park trained runner to dictate the speed to suit himself and he duly led the field up to the home turn.

The testing time came on straightening where Be Water My Friend had four horses spread out across the track close behind him, seemingly set to snap at his heels and apply pressure in the hope of bringing Be Water My Friend undone.

Very quickly though, it was Be Water My Friend who put paid to the opposition, running on resolutely under a superbly judged ride by Du Plessis to not only hold all challenges at bay, but, in fact, to extend what would be a winning margin in the run home to ultimately pass the post a full three lengths clear of his nearest rival … all spite of carrying that 61kg burden … to claim an emphatic victory.

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Photos: Graham Potter
Photos: Graham Potter
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