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By Graham Potter | Wednesday, July 12, 2023

July 12 at Doomben was a very good day at the office for jockey Mark Du Plessis, who landed a treble … riding two winners for Chris Waller (Give Him Wings and Reisinger) and bringing Deep Rouge home for trainer Barry Lockwood.

Significantly, the treble moved Du Plessis into the top ten on the Brisbane Jockey’s Premiership ladder.

Du Plessis wasted no time in getting the ball rolling, claiming the first race … a QTIS Two-Year-Old Handicap over 1350m … aboard Give Him Wings … this, in spite of the fact that he was riding the lesser fancied of the two Chris Waller trained runners in the race. (Give Him Wings was a $4.20 chance while Denote was the strong $1.90 race favourite).

Give Him Wings, who was third-up in only his second preparation, had raced ordinarily in Sydney in his previous two starts with Waller then electing to send him back to Brisbane, where he had in fact kicked off his career.

The change of scenery clearly did the son of Rubick (who is out of the Group 2 Silver Slipper winner Amelia’s Dream) the world of good.

Give Him Wings wasn’t the best away, but Du Plessis asked him to go forward, and he quickly moved into second place behind the $21 outsider Gypsy White Socks. Give Him Wings held that position until the approach to the home turn where Du Plessis shifted pushed his mount up alongside the early leader.

With an even longer priced outsider Two Of Us ($71) also moving up quickly on the outside of Give Him Wings, Du Plessis found himself in the centre of a line of three runners on straightening.

The effort of Two Of Us was short-lived though, leaving Give Him Wings and Gypsy White Socks fighting for supremacy for much of the straight.

Give Him Wings edged clear of his rival inside the 150m mark, but he still had it all to do as no less than four runners flashed down the outside with all of them making up ground rapidly on Give Him Wings … but the Waller trained runner lived up to his name in those last few strides to prevail by the narrowest of margins from a wall of horses in a finish which saw only just over half-a-length separate the first six runners across the line.

The Waller / Du Plessis combination was at it again five races later when Reisinger saluted in a BM68 Handicap over 1350m.

The winner came home at a starting price of $41 … a statistic, once again, reflecting the fact that Du Plessis is a real ‘value’ jockey to follow.

Reisinger had won a Maiden contest three runs back over 1600m and he returned to that sort of trip here (1630m) after twice being found wanting over the longer distances he tackled in the two subsequent starts following his first win … but whether it was back to a preferred distance or not … this was a prime example of a ride winning the race.

Well back early … nine to ten lengths off the lead, one out, going down the back straight … Du Plessis allowed Reisinger all the time he needed to settle into a comfortable rhythm and he was rewarded for his patience when Reisinger started to improve his position approaching the home turn, where he now cornered just under five lengths off the lead.

With the horses in front of him being one, two, three and four wide, Du Plessis made the race winning decision to duck back towards the inside where Reisinger found the rail, took just a moment to adjust his sights and then produced a stunning change of gears … which his rivals were unable to match.

Reisinger went from fifth to first in just the first half of the home straight … and then continued to power on under Du Plessis to make sure he completed the job, which he did well seeing it through to win by a one length margin.

You arguable wouldn’t have wanted to be on Deep Rouge … as a jockey or a punter … at the starting gates prior to the running of BM68 Handicap over1110m.

The $4.40 second favourite was very fractious but, as the barrier boys invariably do, they won that battle and Deep Rouge and Mark Du Plessis duly took their place in the field.

Not that things looked much better in the early part of the race.

Only ordinary away, Deep Rouge raced well back early and even when he started to make up some of that lost ground, he did so three wide. That effort carried him up to midfield in the sweep to the home turn where he cornered all of four wide, still some five lengths off the lead.

It would have been fair enough if her tough run started to take its toll around about now, but Deep Rouge was far from finished.

Not that Du Plessis rushed anything. He initially elected to just let Deep Rouge go through her gears in the first half of the straight, and it was only at the 200m mark … still four lengths adrift of the free-running $101 bolter Rose By Design, that Du Plessis asked Deep Rouge for her final finishing effort … and she duly responded with meaning.

With Rose By Design now tiring, Deep Rouge swept past that runner and had too much in hand on the late chasing Rich Lister ($6) … who would edge Rise By Design out of the runner-out spot … as she went to the line to score a win that she ultimately made to look easy … even though the way the race unfolded shows it was, in fact, a victory hard-earned win courtesy of a very committed performance.

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Mark Du Plessis
Mark Du Plessis
Give Him Wings
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Deep Rouge 

Photos: Graham Potter
Deep Rouge

Photos: Graham Potter
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