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By Graham Potter | Sunday, July 23, 2023

As an experienced jockey you learn to enjoy your hot-spots … results-wise … and also to be patience when you are waiting for your next winner to arrive.

Mark Du Plessis has had plenty of practice dealing with both of those elements of race riding … as it was again when riding a treble at Doomben on July 12 and then having to wait eleven days before visiting the winners’ enclosure again … but, interestingly enough, that gap between winners included four runner-up finishes (all by less than a two length margin) and four third place finishes, so Du Plessis had certainly not been far from the action during that period.

And Du Plessis duly struck again on the Paul Jenkins trained Mooloolaba in a QTIS Three-Year-Old Plate over 1600m at the Sunshine Coast on July 23.

A New Zealand bred, Mooloolaba had raced eleven times in New Zealand before transferring to the Jenkins stable at the Sunshine Coast, for which he debuted with an unplaced finish at Ipswich on June 30.

The three-year-old son of Turn Me Loose was first-up there after a four-month break and that run was always likely to bring him along … so too the step up in distance from 1350m to 1600m.

The $5.50 price about his chances ended up being a generous offer as Mooloolaba basically outclassed his opposition to win every bit as easily as the official 2.30 length margin suggests.

And the victory came via a very patient ride from Du Plessis, who sat Mooloolaba in seventh, then sixth place in the ten-horse field in the first half of the race, racing along the rail some five to six length off the leader.

Angling away from the rail in the approach to the home, Du Plessis set Mooloolaba alight early and the Jenkins trained runner has no hesitation in given a positive response, making ground quickly to corner three wide, now just two lengths back … and he wasn’t about to stop there.

Mooloolaba continued his strong run to reach the lead as early as the 300m mark … and, again, that was not the end of the story as Mooloolaba quickly extended his advantage to take the race right away from his opposition, who, for the rest of the race were left only chasing for a minor share of the prize-money.

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Photos: Graham Potter
Photos: Graham Potter
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