Pacorus out to earn Aussie ticket

Pacorus (Viktoria Gatu)proving too strong in the Rotorua Cup.

Pacorus (Viktoria Gatu) proving too strong in the Rotorua Cup and ready to strike again in the Kiwifruit Cup on Saturday.

Chris Wood believes Rotorua Cup winner Pacorus is set to make his presence felt in Saturday’s Orora Kiwi Packaging Kiwifuit Cup at Tauranga.

Tavistock five-year-old gelding Pacorus has established himself among the country’s best winter stayers and the Cambridge trainer ranks the horse as the one to beat in the 2100-metre feature, despite carrying 58kg.

“He’s drawn an awkward alley in barrier 11, but he’s thriving at the moment and with the rain forecast he’ll get conditions to suit,” said Wood. “He’s come through his last run pretty well. He’s bright and he should go another good race.”

A winner of eight of his 29 starts, including a streak of seven wins from 11 starts last year, Pacorus goes into the Kiwifruit Cup with impressive lead-up form in Cups races.

After finishing fourth in the Bay Of Plenty Cup and the Listed Hawke’s Bay Cup and fifth in the Gr.2 Awapuni Cup, he won the Gr.3 Rotorua Cup and last start stuck on bravely for third in the Listed Wanganui Cup.

“We didn’t really want to end up in front, but from barrier one we didn’t want to end up buried three-back on the fence either,” said Wood. “We were hoping something would come around and give us a trail but that didn’t happen.

“But he’s fought on pretty well and he gave the winner plenty of weight [6kg] and she’s a pretty good horse, too, Ladies First.

“He’s very much in the race this weekend. He’s a form horse and he’s very well. His work has been good and we’re really happy with him.”

Wood said Pacorus was likely to tackle next month’s Listed Taumarunui Gold Cup (2200m) at Rotorua before further thought was given to a possible late winter Australian campaign.

“We could look at Sydney or Melbourne and do something similar to what Megablast has done,” said Wood. “It’s a bit weaker over there this time of year.”

Wood will also produce Wooden Edge on the undercard at Tauranga, happy to forgive his last-start failure at Wanganui.

“He’s had two trips to Wanganui and hasn’t fired either time,” he said. “He copped a couple of checks in the straight too but he just never seemed comfortable there.

“He’s well and the predicted rain at Tauranga should help him.” 

– NZ Racing Desk.