Double for Wood camp

Wooden Edge completing a double for rider Viktoria Gatu and trainer Chris Wood at Te Rapa yesterday.

Wooden Edge completing a double for rider Viktoria Gatu and trainer Chris Wood at Te Rapa yesterday.

A large on-course support crew for the Chris Wood stable had plenty to cheer about when the Cambridge trainer landed a winning double with Pacorus and Wooden Edge at Te Rapa yesterday.

Wood, who has struggled for numbers at his home base over the past few seasons, had been keen on the chances of both of his runners who were well fancied after producing impressive winning performances in their last runs.

“It was a pretty good weekend when we won with Pacorus on the Saturday at Tauranga and backed up with Wooden Edge at Te Awamutu the next day but I think this might top that,” he said.

“They had both worked up well in the interim so I did tell the connections of both horses they would be worth a bet. There were plenty of happy people after they both got up.

“One of the team in Wooden Edge brought twelve mates down from Dargaville with him in a mini-van so I’m picking it was a great trip home.”

The recent run of success has been a welcome boost for the Wood stable, particularly with stable apprentice Viktoria Gatu doing the riding.

“It’s been a bit of a battle to get horses in the stable for the last couple of years so I’ve had to go out and chase things pretty hard,” said Wood. “There are a good bunch of mainly new people in both these horses, along with some loyal clients, so I’m chuffed to get the results for them.”

One of those loyal clients Wood was referring to is former jockey Gary Edge who shares in the ownership of Wooden Edge. The four-year gelding from unheralded sire Have No Fear certainly wasn’t on Wood’s radar when he got a call from Edge about the gelding.

“Gary had taken over the horse when his owner couldn’t pay his agistment bills,” explained Wood.

“He asked me to take a look at him as he said he was a magnificent paddock galloper. I did tell him they don’t pay out on winning paddock gallops but when I saw him I agreed to take him for a few weeks and try him out.

“The first thing he did was drop Viktoria (Gatu) at the track one morning which didn’t impress her much so I let one of my other track riders look after him. He told me he had plenty of ability and was pretty quick to remind me of that when he won his first trial.

“Since then he’s just continued to improve although he only does what he’s asked and no more so I’m not sure just how good he is.

“Viktoria told me he had plenty of petrol left (yesterday) so there should be a few more wins in store on that performance.”

Wood will now give both Pacorus and Wooden Edge a fortnight in the paddock with a view to tackling some of the support races during the upcoming Hawkes Bay spring carnival.

– NZ Racing Desk.