Kiwi jockey enjoys Cup success

Mark Du Plessis has made an impact across the Tasman. Source: Trish Dunell.

Mark Du Plessis has made a significant breakthrough on his current Australian riding stint.

The New Zealand jockey celebrated his first black type winner there when he guided First Crush to success in Thursday’s Listed Grafton Cup (2350m).

The six-year-old is trained by former Group 1-winning rider Chris Munce for Sydney businessman and strong New Zealand racing supporter Max Whitby and Jenny Moses, wife of jockey turned trainer Kevin Moses.

“It’s was pretty special and Max has been a good supporter of mine,” Du Plessis said. “His wife isn’t well so it was nice to get one for them.”

Du Plessis is currently based in Brisbane after crossing the Tasman in mid-May.

“I’m getting a lot of support from trainers and doing my best for them,” he said.

“I don’t know how long I’ll be staying here, I’m just taking it as it comes.

“I’m enjoying it, although I do get homesick and miss my children. I’m coming home on Sunday to see them and I’ll go back the following Friday.”

Du Plessis will be riding at the Sunshine Coast meeting on Saturday where his mounts include Skulduggery in the Group 3 The Queen’s Cup (3200m).

The five-year-old was a last-start fifth in the Listed Caloundra Cup (2400m) behind Megablast, who will be a race rival again in his final start for Pukekohe trainer Nigel Tiley before he joins an Australian stable.

De Plessis will also be aboard the in-form pair of Bluebrook for Kelly Schweida and the Tony Gollan- trained Tokoriki Lad. The former won last time out on the track while Tokoriki Lad has won two of his last three starts and was most recently third behind Tony Pike’s The Bostonian at Doomben.