Mooloo’s hopes rest with Wood runner

Viktoria Gatu winning on Pacorus at Tauranga. The pair will combine again in the Interprovincial tomorrow.

Viktoria Gatu winning on Pacorus at Tauranga. The pair will combine again in the Interprovincial tomorrow.

Cambridge trainer Chris Wood will represent the pride of Mooloo country when he saddles Pacorus in tomorrow’s ITM New Plymouth Building Supplies Interprovincial 1600 at New Plymouth.

“Fingers crossed. I’ve been a Waikato boy for a long time now so it would be nice to do,” said Wood.

However, Wood wasn’t predicting a Waikato win, suggesting the Tavistock five-year-old would need the run as he embarks on a spring campaign targeting the Gr. 3 Christchurch Casino New Zealand Cup (3200m) at Riccarton in November.

“While he’s placed at 1400 and 1600 (metres), he’s never won below 1800, so the 1600 on Saturday will probably be a bit sharp for him,” he said.

“He’s not screwed down for this. He’s got bigger fish to fry. Whatever he does, he’ll improve on going forward, but he won’t go a bad race.”

Pacorus has won four of his 18 starts and looks an exciting staying talent.

“We took him to the Waipa jumpouts last week and he went well,” said Wood. “He’s progressing nicely. The long-term aim is the New Zealand Cup and we’ll work out his programme towards that after this weekend.”

Pacorus is one of several runners from the Cambridge area in action in the Interprovincial.

The Stephen Marsh-trained El Duque will represent Auckland, the Graeme Thomas and Nick Smith-trained Mangaroa Flo Jo will run for Thames Valley, the Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman-trained Arzak will go around in Hawke’s Bay colours, while the Steven Ramsay and Julia Ritchie-trained Meritaggio will be the Bay Of Plenty representative.

Meanwhile, Wood will also have unbeaten galloper Wooden Edge and Roc de Bank in action at New Plymouth.

Wooden Edge will chase his third win in the ITM Golden Bay Cement Special Conditions Maiden (1400m) with Pacorus’ jockey, Viktoria Gatu, again engaged.

“Tina Egan’s horse [Such A One] won by nine and a half lengths last start and that looks the hardest to beat, but our bloke has worked well and has done everything right,” said Wood.

“I haven’t really got to the bottom of him yet. Everything he’s done so far, he’s done on his ear.”

Like Pacorus and Wooden Edge, Roc de Bank goes into his weekend assignment freshened since his last start, but he has pleased Wood with his lead-up training.

“All three of mine had a bit of a break at Gary Edge’s and all three went to the Waipa jumpouts to bring them along,” said Wood. “They should all go well.”

– NZ Racing Desk