Dark Universe credit goes to Gatu

Mark Hills returning to scale on Dark Universe after an authoritative win at Te Rapa yesterday.

Mark Hills returning to scale on Dark Universe after an authoritative win at Te Rapa yesterday.

Chris Wood was quick to deflect the credit with his talented galloper Dark Universe after he continued on his winning way at Te Rapa yesterday.

“All credit goes to my apprentice Viktoria (Gatu),” said Wood. “She has done an outstanding job on him. He used to want to do everything at a hundred miles an hour. He was hard work.

“He used to hare off in his gallopers, but Viktoria kept persevering with him. One day she asked if she could change the way she worked him and drop him in behind. That worked and since then he’s kept improving.

“Mark Hills has been riding him in his trials and races, but she’ll get her chance to ride him one day. She’s helped make the horse.”

Dark Universe was unplaced in his first two trials then won at the Te Awamutu trials last June and, after a break, he returned to finish second in a Te Aroha trial last October.

He then looked good when winning his debut at Dargaville on November 11 and that form was lifted a cog or two when the runner-up Ambitious Winner went on to win at Te Awamutu last week in his next start.

The step up to Rating 65 yesterday proved no barrier to Dark Universe.

He settled sixth on the outer and was three-wide across the top then let down strongly in the straight. His acceleration soon had him clear of the opposition and he went to the line with a two and three-quarter length advantage over the runner-up Wimbledon.

Dark Universe is giving his syndicate of owners (which includes Wood) plenty of thrills and several of them have been quick to jump into another syndicate to race a Bachelor Duke – Sista colt bought by Wood for $60,000 at last week’s Ready To Run sale.

Sista included among her six wins the Gr.3 Waikato Guineas, Listed Wanganui Guineas and the Listed ARC Lindauer 3YO Classic.

“He’s a nice type and they should have a lot of fun with him,” said Wood.

As for Dark Universe, Wood has no immediate confirmed plans for the three-year-old son of Darci Brahma and the one-race Lonhro mare Shalaka.

“He’s still a work in progress,” he said. “I’m aiming him at Karaka Million night at Ellerslie but not sure what path to take to it.”

Dark Universe’s mission on January 29, Karaka Million night, is the $50,000 special conditions event over 1200 metres.