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Overseas jockey on trail of success in Qld

Posted by on Jul 31, 2018

Overseas jockey on trail of success in Qld

AFTER a long haul trip, former champion Zimbabwean jockey Mark Du Plessis announced himself at Ipswich with a winning double.

Du Plessis originally made a name for himself as the champion apprentice in Zimbabwe in the mid 1990’s, followed by a number of years as a senior rider. He first became Zimbabwean champion jockey just prior to the turn of the millennium.

Du Plessis then embarked on riding stints around the world, including Hong Kong and New Zealand. His impressive winning international strike rate remains around 20%.

Jockey Mark Du Plessis guides Trail of Glory back into the Ipswich enclosure. Image: Cordell Richardson

He has collected 24 Group 1 wins in New Zealand alone.

After a permanent move from New Zealand to South East Queensland late in 2017, Du Plessis has also won at Doomben, the Sunshine Coast, Beaudesert, Gatton and Grafton.

After a settling-in period with limited success, Du Plessis is hitting his straps becoming a regular winner.

It is perhaps Ipswich where Du Plessis has been most successful since his move to Queensland. That included his first SEQ winner Helfuchi in late May.

The widely travelled hoop has also won at Ipswich aboard Tony Gollan’s Of The Day on Ipswich Cup Day.

Friday was his first double anywhere in SEQ.

The winning double was with Hotel Coste for trainer Bruce Hill and Trail of Glory for Golan.

Premiership rewards

IT WAS the end of the season meeting on Friday and Tony Gollan collected win number 32 with Trail of Glory. That easily gave him his fourth consecutive Ipswich Trainer’s Premiership at Ipswich, by a margin of 12 to Matt Dunn.

Gollan is not easing up after collecting more than 100 winners in the past four years at Bundamba. He has nominated a few runners for the first Australian meeting of the new season on Wednesday at Ipswich.

Jeff Lloyd, the Queensland champion jockey of the past few years, collected his first Ipswich Premiership with 37 scalps for the season.

Former globetrotting jockey Lloyd has announced his retirement in November. He will be sorely missed by the racing world, not only for his talent in the saddle but for the unofficial racing ambassador role that he has played over the past five years since basing himself in Queensland.

Another first-time premiership winner at Ipswich was Emma Ljung, who became the fourth female to collect the Premier Apprentice honour following in the footsteps of Mandy Radecker, Tegan Harrison and Tiff Brooker.

Ljung is now a senior rider, however her nine wins at Ipswich were all as an apprentice in the 2018 season.

Happy birthday horses

IPSWICH will share the honour tomorrow of conducting the first Australian racing meeting of the year on the horse birthday August 1.

To standardise age groups for the studbook and racing, August 1 is chosen as the official birthday being theoretically just prior to the new season foaling date given that a normal mare’s gestation period is just over 11 months and the breeding season commences on September 1.

In the northern hemisphere it is a little different as the official horse birthday is January 1, which is two months prior to the first day of the northern Spring.

Rekindling, who won the 2017 Melbourne Cup, is a northern hemisphere galloper foaled in March 2014. However, Rekindling was listed as a four-year-old in November on Southern Hemisphere time, despite being three years and seven months of actual age.

Next meetings

AFTER Wednesday’s horse birthday meeting, racing at Ipswich continues with Fridays August 10 and 24, finishing with Wednesday 29th.

In between these dates is a significant Saturday meeting on August 18, which features a Handmade Expo Market on the race day as well as strong function bookings.

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