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By Graham Potter | Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Another double figure odds winner for jockey Mark du Plessis.

That was a fairly regular theme last season and the third race at the Sunshine Coast at the midweek meeting on August 23 once again fell firmly into that category when Du Plessis partnered the Rex Lipp trained Burnish Gold to victory in a Class 6 Plate over 1000m at the juicy odds of $13.

Du Plessis, who had also won on the Lipp trained Aqua Alta earlier in the month, was having his first ride on Burnish Gold, a four-year-0old daughter of Defcon, who was second-up and coming off a very ordinary run when resuming at Eagle Farm three-and-a-half weeks earlier after a four-month layoff.

There was a point of concern following that run with the steward’s report stating, ‘Burnish Gold – Bumped shortly after jumping. Rider J. Orman stated that the filly weakened noticeably over the concluding stages and as a result he elected not to place his mount under pressure. A post-race veterinary examination revealed no significant abnormalities. Trainer Mr R. Lipp was advised that the filly will be required to barrier trial to the satisfaction of Stewards prior to racing again.’

Whatever the hiccup was there, the cobwebs were well and truly blown out by the time Du Plessis brought Burnish Gold out onto the track at the Sunshine Coast ... and all concerns were allayed when the mare turned in a performance befitting of her ability to win well,
particularly coming from the situation she found herself in early, in what was her fifth win from only fifteen starts.

The track and distance preference might ultimately have played its part in the win (Burnish Gold has now won two out of three runs at the Sunshine Coast over 1000m), but the Lipp trained runner still had to put in a shift and Du Plessis really had to earn his money.

After being reasonably placed after the break, Du Plessis was forced to take hold and pull Burnish Gold away from heels twice in the first 200m, the second time with Burnish Gold’s head coming up sharpy as she lost ground going back to third last in the eight-horse field and suddenly racing a little under four lengths off the leader.

The was no panic in the saddle though as Du Plessis showed his experience by allowing Burnish Gold time to settle again and then pick up her rhythm, at which time he angled his mount of five wide to ensure Burnish Gold would have a clear run in the straight and would not be impeded again.

The was still obvious work to do in the home straight and, again, Du Plessis initially just allowed Burnish Gold to go through her gears in comfortable fashion as she moved forward to join the leading line.

It was only over the final 150m, once Burnish Gold had gained the ascendency, that Du Plessis got more vigorous in the saddle to let Burnish Gold know the job was not done yet and that she had to sustain her finishing effort to the line.

The Lipp runner had no problem answering that call. She won by 0.30 lengths.

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Photos: Graham Potter
Photos: Graham Potter
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