From Gymkhanas to Group Races

12 Dec 2022
Auckland Thoroughbred Racing

In the space of a week Casey Lock went from winning ribbons with Viktor Vegas at a Cambridge show to winning the Gr.3 Waikato Cup (2400m) at Te Rapa.

Casey Lock arriving on course at Te Rapa last Saturday with Viktor Vegas | Photo: Trish Dunell


“Last Sunday, I took him to Leamington where they had an adults ribbon day. We had a go at every class from flatwork through to jumping in the second half of the programme,” Lock said.

“We came home with a first, second, third and a fifth – it was great.

“It is the first competition I have done since I was a kid on my pony.”

Casey Lock with Viktor Vegas and his ribbon haul at a Leamington Show earlier this month | Photo: Supplied


Operating a small stable, Lock believes variety is key to reinvigorating her team, and it has worked wonders for her pride and joy Viktor Vegas, with the son of Tavistock having found a new lease on life after being retired a few years ago to become the Te Aroha trainer’s sport horse.

The pair have subsequently had a dream run, with Vicktor Vegas running in the money in all but one of his seven starts for Lock, including two victories and a placing in the Gr.3 Counties Cup (2100m).

Saturday’s Group Three triumph was the icing on the cake for Lock, who is looking to continue her varied training routine with her evergreen galloper.

“There is another one (ribbon day) coming up at Te Aroha in a couple of weeks’ time that we will have a go at, which will lead into the Wellington Cup (Gr.3, 3200m),” Lock said.

“It’s nothing too serious, it’s just so we can have some fun and it is something different for him.

“They will go around the track, we have got a treadmill, they go swimming at Matamata. No two days are the same, they are always doing something different. I think it is hugely important that they just don’t go around in circles all of the time.”

Lock wasn’t the only member of her family celebrating success at Te Rapa on Saturday, with her father, Peter, taking out the Gr.3 J Swap Sprint (1400m) with Faithful Feat.

“It was huge, you couldn’t ask for a better day,” Lock said.

“We go into every race meeting being the underdogs as the small fish. Here we are with our two little horses against all of these big names, it was just incredible to get those results.”

Lock is excited for the future with her boutique stable and is hoping to add some numbers to her barn in the coming months.

“I have got his (Viktor Vegas) half-sister by Churchill who has just gone to the paddock,” Lock said.

“She has had a few issues and she is going to have a good, long break. The family takes a bit of time, so I am not worried about her.

“There are a couple at the yearling sales that I am quite interested in, but my forte is horses that don’t like big stables and want something different with their work.

“If anyone is out there that has got some older horses that want something different, I am open to them.”

In the meantime, Lock is looking forward to campaigning Viktor Vegas around the country in her signature pink ensemble.

“You’ll definitely see me before you hear me,” Lock quipped.

NZ Racing Desk

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