Gobstopper becomes NZ Cup show-stopper

19 Nov 2017

Jockey Sam Spratt and trainer Andrew Campbell enjoyed the sweetest of times at Riccarton when they combined with Tavistock stayer Gobstopper to complete a memorable Saturday.

They triumphed in the Gr.3 Christchurch Casino New Zealand Cup (3200m) to hand Spratt a coveted double having earlier won the Gr.1 gavelhouse.com 1000 Guineas (1600m), while Campbell was saddling his first runner from new quarters.

He recently relocated from his long-time base at Opaki to a property in Cambridge.

“This is my first starter so it’s pretty special,” Campbell said.

“We decided to target this race right from the time he came back in. He’s a lightly-framed horse so he doesn’t need much racing. He’s only going to get better with time like his brother Werther.”

Campbell trained Werther before he transferred to Hong Kong where he has been a Group One winner and on Sunday won the Gr.2 Jockey Club Cup (2000m) at Sha Tin.

His younger sibling is a renowned front-runner and in Spratt he had the ideal partner with the Pukekohe-based jockey giving Gobstopper free rein to bowl along at the head of the field.

“He got into his rhythm and when they came up to us he kicked again, it was a brilliant run,” she said.

“He could have gone around again.”

The Tavistock gelding was out on his own with 1000m to run before the field gradually closed and Pentathlon challenged on straightening, but Gobstopper wasn’t done and went clear to win with authority.

Pentathlon boxed on to take second money ahead of Kaharau with Sampson fourth and last year’s minor placegetter Imperium the next home. – NZ Racing Desk