Gatu’s Cup judge­ment was spot on

Cambridge Edition - - OUT & ABOUT - TIM RYAN

There was an air of con­fi­dence around the win­ning ride of Vik­to­ria Gatu aboard Pa­corus in Sun­day’s $75,000 Ro­torua Cup.

Gatu set­tled Pa­corus in the trail early in the Group III race and fol­lowed moves made firstly by Bay­max, and then by race favourite May­grove.

When the pace slack­ened midrace, Matthew Cameron set May­grove alight and Gatu made sure she kept the favourite firmly in her sights.

Her tac­tics paid off as the son of Tav­i­s­tock left his ri­vals in his wake and a de­lighted Gatu gave a jus­ti­fied fist pump af­ter cross­ing the line clear of run­ner-up Doiknowyou and third placed Wannabefa­mous.

It was Gatu’s sev­enth win on the Chris Wood-trained gal­loper, the win­ner of eight for his big team of own­ers who have banked nearly $200,000 in earn­ings.

Wood is more than happy to keep his for­mer ap­pren­tice on the horse who is likely to be seen next at Wan­ganui in a fort­night.

‘‘The horse runs for her,’’ Wood said of the com­bi­na­tion’s suc­cess.

‘‘Vik­to­ria loves the horse and the horse loves her.

‘‘That’s Vik­to­ria’s first win as a se­nior rider so I’m de­lighted she got it in a big race like to­day.

‘‘She fol­lowed my in­struc­tions to the let­ter and showed a lot of poise when they started at­tack­ing all around her ap­proach­ing the home turn.’’

The Cup re­sult was a tri­fecta for the ladies with Lisa All­press aboard the run­ner-up and Alysha Col­lett on Wannabefa­mous.

Pa­corus has given his Cam­bridge trainer a few headaches since his run of suc­cess last win­ter.

‘‘He’s had a few nig­gles,’’ he said.

‘‘We had a lady come over from Aus­tralia to treat his back - con­se­quently he is back to his form.’’

Wood plans to ‘‘play around’’ in hand­i­caps in New Zealand in the fore­see­able fu­ture be­fore re­con­sid­er­ing ear­lier plans to test the horse in Aus­tralia.

Cam­bridge trainer Stephen Marsh had two run­ners in the ju­ve­nile race at Sun­day’s meet­ing.

Cam­pari was backed into favouritism by pun­ters af­ter two trial ap­pear­ances for two im­pres­sive wins.

But Marsh wasn’t con­vinced pun­ters had got it right and told Track­side view­ers that he had sus­pi­cions Shadow Dancer ($8.50) might be a bet­ter prospect on the heavy, test­ing track in the 1050m dash.

He was spot on the money as Sa­man­tha Col­lett bounced the daugh­ter of Snitzel from the bar­rier and put her on the speed.

She ral­lied strongly to fight off a brave Sim­ply Im­pec­ca­ble with Cam­pari bat­tling into third.

Owned by Tim Bo­dle’s Whakanui Stud, Shadow Dancer had tri­alled well for two plac­ings and will now go for a spell.

‘‘We want to give her a break and get her ready for those early spring 3-year-old filly races,’’ he said.

‘‘I don’t think she was re­ally suited by the ground to­day - it was a good tough win.’’

Cam­pari will also head for a spell, Marsh rea­son­ing she needs bet­ter ground to show her best.

Vik­to­ria Gatu con­tin­ues her win­ning ways with Pa­corus in the Ro­torua Cup.

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