Trainer Donna Logan admits that Volkstok’n’barrell is still not at peak fitness, but she still believes that her star galloper can win the 2015 Makybe Diva Stakes at Flemington on Saturday.
Volkstok’n’barrell returned to the races in the Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on August 29 and he was well-backed in the lead-up to the race before he hit the line fairly to finish a more than credible seventh behind Boban.
Logan is confident that Volkstok’n’barrell will take more fitness benefit out of the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) on Saturday, but he would not rule the son of Lord Tavistock out of contention in the $4 million race.
“I am really pleased with him and Craig gave us a glowing report after he rode him in a track galloper yesterday,” Logan told Racing Ahead.
“He is not 100 percent stripping fit, but he is going to go pretty fit I think.
“I think he is still in with a chance and he is going in the right direction.”
Volkstok’n’barrell has been included in the nominations for both the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) and Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) and Logan said that the 2015 Makybe Diva Stakes will decide which way she heads with the four-year-old.
The Cox Plate was the original 2015 Spring Racing Carnival target for Volkstok’n’barrell, but Logan said that she will not hesitate to give the gelding another opportunity over the 2400 metres of the Caulfield Cup if he races a touch on the dour side this weekend.
“I think that it will, but we will know a hell of a lot more after the race, which will determine what direction we are going to head,” Logan said.
“If he is a bit dour we have the Caulfield Cup on our hit list and if he is sharp enough we can continue on to the Cox.
“I think the fact that he is a lot stronger this time in means that he will cope with the 2400 a lot better, but obviously he may surprise us all and show that he is still a very good Cox Plate chance.”
Volkstok’n’barrell will have his third race start over a mile in the Makybe Diva Stakes and he is currently undefeated at the trip after taking out the Group 2 Great Northern Guineas (1600m) and Listed Karaka Mile (1600m) in New Zealand earlier this year.