Pacorus back on NZ Cup trail

Pacorus (Viktoria Gatu) cruising to victory at Ellerslie today.

Pacorus (Viktoria Gatu) cruising to victory at Ellerslie today.

Chris Wood’s feature race aspirations for Pacorus are firmly back on track after a minor hiccup earlier this month.

The Cambridge trainer will early next week confirm a path to the Gr.3 Christchurch Casino New Zealand Cup for his charge after the Tavistock gelding destroyed his opposition in today’s Ray White NZ Mitchelson Cup at Ellerslie.

It was a dominant performance and more in line with his hat-trick of wins through the winter at Tauranga, Te Rapa and New Plymouth before a fifth placing in his previous appearance.

“A lot of horses don’t cop Ruakaka and he got beaten fair and square on the day,” said Wood.

Pacorus jumped straight to the front at Ellerslie for stable apprentice Viktoria Gatu and after putting a break on the field 300 metres from home the five-year-old coasted home.

“It was a great win. I’ve just got off a plane from Queensland so the staff have done a great job and Viktoria rode him a treat,” said Wood.

“We came with a plan to lead as I didn’t think there was much pace in the race and he’s a horse that can just keep rolling.

“He doesn’t take a lot of racing and I’ll map out a plan to the New Zealand Cup in the next few days.”

Pacorus had four lengths to spare on the runner-up, the favourite Megablast, who had his chance.

“He was nice and relaxed and he had a good kick,” said Gatu. “That’s my fifth win on him and he’s a lovely horse to have around the stable.”

Meanwhile, debutante Veearma provided her Cambridge breeder and part-owner Sir Patrick Hogan with a welcome boost when she claimed the opening event, the Harold Says Happy Birthday Heather Samu Maiden.

“She’s a nice filly and it’s a bit of a tonic for Patrick who had an operation yesterday,” said Peter Williams, who trains the three-year-old with his wife Dawn and Paul Richards.

Sir Patrick spirits were further lifted at Ellerslie where his colours were carried to victory by Doni Prastiyou aboard Ronchi in the Ray White City Realty 1200.

– NZ Racing Desk.