Milestone for Gatu

Viktoria Gatu and Admiral out on their own over the final stages of the Listed Haunui Farm Karaka Classic today.

Viktoria Gatu and Admiral out on their own over the final stages of the Listed Haunui Farm Karaka Classic today.

Viktoria Gatu won’t have much trouble remembering when she hit a half century of wins.

The Cambridge apprentice landed her 50th win on Admiral in the Listed $50,000 Haunui Farm Karaka Classic at Pukekohe today and it was her first black-type success in her second stakes ride.

It was also Gatu’s first win on the Pukekohe course and she achieved it in daring fashion. Despite Admiral having not won beyond 1200 metres and having his first start at 1600, she let him freewheel in front and put the pressure on the back-runners.

Admiral’s closest rival for much of the first half of the journey was Cambridge galloper Biologist (winner of the 2014 Karaka Classic) and during the mid-stages of the 1600-metre event there was a gap of eight or nine lengths back to the third runner.

Biologist ranged up to be within striking distance of Admiral turning for home and the other runners closed the gaps.

For a time it looked like Gatu’s mount would be run down, but that was only a momentary thought as Admiral accelerated through the heavy ground to skip away and establish an unassailable lead. At the finish he was five lengths ahead of the runner-up, Blizzard.

It was a most encouraging run from Blizzard, who was second-up after a seventh at Hastings last month. He looks on track to add to his record of six wins for Cambridge trainers David and Emma-Lee Browne.

Admiral has now won four races for his owner-breeder Stuart Seath and Te Rapa trainer Stephen Ralph and three of those wins have come in the hands of Cambridge apprentices.

Zy Nor Azman was aboard when Admiral won his second race, at Ellerslie last September, and Gatu has now won twice on the son of Align, the first of those wins coming at Tauranga three months ago. Gatu has also picked up a second from two other rides on Admiral.

After four wins in each of her first two seasons of riding, Gatu has excelled in the last 12 to 18 months, riding 17 winners in 2014-15 and 19 last season.

Admiral was her sixth win for the current term, which includes a double at New Plymouth last month when successful on Wooden Edge and Pacorus (Interprovincial 1600) for her employer, Chris Wood. She also won on stable runner Single Shot at Te Rapa last Wednesday.