Tavistock stayer lands G3 Rotorua Cup

21 May 2017

Handy stayer Pacorus returned to his true form when he stormed to victory in the Gr.3 Campbell Infrastructure Rotorua Cup on Sunday, crediting Cambridge Stud sire Tavistock with his 13th individual stakes winner.

Touted as a leading staying prospect after a string of victories during the winter and early spring, the five-year-old Tavistock gelding had failed to live up to that tag during a disappointing autumn campaign.

Trainer Chis Wood had cut a frustrated figure during that period.

However, his faith in the gelding's ability on the true winter tracks was unshaken leading in to the feature event.

With the track rated in as heavy 11 and Pacorus having benefited from a visit from a chiropractor, Wood was confident his charge was ready to fire and so it proved as he charged away in the home straight to score a decisive two-length victory.

Fellow Cambridge galloper Doiknowyou chased gamely in the straight to nab second from Wanabefamous, who momentarily looked like causing an upset when he snuck through on the inner turning for home.

"He just hadn't been right so I had the chiropractor come in and look at him," Wood said.

"She found a niggle in his back so she worked on him and he has come right, so I was happy leading into the race. He was coming in fresh but he's a clean-winded horse so that didn't worry me.

"He also got a track that suited him so it all played in his favour. He doesn't want it bottomless but when it races like it did today then he is going to be right in the fight."

Wood was quick to acknowledge the efforts of his former apprentice Viktoria Gatu, who produced a polished display to guide the winner home.

"That's Viktoria's first win as a senior rider so I'm delighted she got it in a big race like today," he said.

"She followed my instructions to the letter and showed a lot of poise when they started attacking all around her approaching the home turn."

Wood will now look at what is available during the winter with a view to a start in the Listed Wanganui Cup on the 3rd of June as his next target.

Bred by Anne Corcoran, Pacorus is out of the Zabeel mare Za Tiara, replicating the Tavistock-Zabeel cross that has proved successful with Group One winners Tarzino and Werther. ? NZ Racing Desk