Viktor Vegas (NZ) Delivers Special Result with Waikato Cup Romp

12 December 2022

Viktor Vegas (NZ) wins the  Group Three Skycity Hamilton Waikato Cup (2400m). Photo: Trish Dunell.

Remarkable veteran Viktor Vegas (NZ) (Tavistock) delivered a dream result for owner-trainer Casey Lock in Saturday’s $120,000 Group Three Skycity Hamilton Waikato Cup (2400m). 

Having fallen short of his $5,000 reserve as a weanling and $30,000 reserve as a yearling, the nine-year-old now boasts a career record of 35 starts for seven wins, nine placings and $234,415 in stakes.

Originally raced by his breeder Bob Emery, who later gifted him to Lock, Viktor Vegas has been in career-best form this spring. He placed at Matamata in September, then scored an impressive win in the Egmont Cup (2100m). That earned him a shot at black-type company, where he finished fourth in the Group Three Balmerino Stakes (2050m) and third in the Group Three Counties Cup (2100m).

On Saturday he went to a new level, bursting to the lead at the top of the Te Rapa straight in the hands of jockey Kozzi Asano. That was the end of the race as a contest, with Viktor Vegas powering clear to score by five lengths from Dionysus (NZ) (Ocean Park) and Aromatic (NZ) (Sacred Falls).

“He was travelling so well down the back and I just needed to get out,” Asano said. “Once he got away at the top of the straight, he was just too good for them.

Owner-trainer Casey Lock.

“I wanted to stay wide on him, but there were too many horses doing the same, so I couldn’t. It didn’t matter in the end, because the horse is just so capable.”

Saturday’s Cup triumph was the 14th win of Lock’s training career, and clearly the most significant. 

“I don’t know what to say, other than I am just so lucky to have such an amazing horse like him,” she said. “He is my best mate, we do everything together, and I’ve known from day one that he just needed ground.”

A half-brother to Viktor Vegas will be offered at Karaka 2023, with a colt by Super Seth going through the ring as Lot 444 in Woburn Farm’s Book 1 draft.

Both of Saturday’s Waikato Cup placegetters are also Karaka graduates. Dionysus was bought for $45,000 from Book 1 of Karaka 2019 and has now earned $142,330 in an 18-start career that has produced four wins and four placings. The third-placed Aromatic, who won last month’s Counties Cup, was bought by David Ellis for $160,000 from Book 1 of Karaka 2018. She has had 21 starts for four wins, 11 placings and $196,350 in prizemoney.

Vendor Weanling Sale: Belvedere Farm
South Island Sale: Park Hill Stables
Breeding Tavistock – Purnima
Sale Lot 130, 2014 National Weanling, Broodmare & Mixed Bloodstock Sale, Psd (Res $5,000)
Lot 39, 2015 South Island Sale, Psd (Res $30,000)
Bred by R A Emery