Gold Coast-trained Happy Go Plucky (by Pluck (USA)) recorded the 10th victory of his enduring career when turning in a strong staying effort to land a keenly contested renewal of the $175,000, Listed, TAB Ipswich Cup (2150m) on the feature Saturday program staged in Queensland.
A 7-year-old veteran of 60-plus starts, Happy Go Plucky came out best in an enthralling tussle over the closing stages of the middle-distance contest, fighting on gamely under a Stephanie Thornton ride to hold off So You Win (by So You Think (NZ)) in second and Flash Aah (Lucas Cranach (Ger)) in third.
Less than a length covered the first three horses home, the official margins on the contest being registered as a Neck and a Long Head.
Illustrating the manner in which the race was contested is the fact that early leaders In Good Health and Inverloch (Ire) ultimately finished third-last and last respectively in the 12-horse field respectively. Both keen front-runners, the pair took each other on for at least half of the race and were spent forces well before the straight.
On a Good 4 surface, the final 600 metres was completed in a sedate 37.51s, Happy Go Plucky seeing out the 2150m trip best and adding to three previous victories over 2200m.
At his previous outing, Happy Go Plucky had finished a nine-length runner-up to Incentivise, the hugely progressive galloper that scored again by nine-and-a-half lengths earlier on the same Ipswich program.
Raced by Mr C J Gilmore, Mrs L M Gilmore, Mr D J Leigh, Mr L C Anderson, Mr D A Smith, Ms K L Bennie, Mr D C Lee & Mrs V Lee, Happy Go Plucky took his earnings to $462,210 with his 2021 Ipswich Cup win.
SPs on the race were $21.00 Happy Go Plucky, $4.20 So You Win, and $15.00 Flash Aah. In Good Health started as the $3.70 favourite.
Winning time of today's Ipswich Cup was 2m12.74s (last 600m in 37.51s).