Top Sydney jockey Blake Shinn will be the new rider on high quality Kiwi four year old Volkstok’N’ Barrell in the Group 1 $400,000 New Zealand Bloodstock Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on August 29.
Shinn replaces Craig Williams who rode Volkstok’N’ Barrell during the Sydney Autumn Carnival but will be unavailable because of his commitment to ride in the World All-Star Jockeys Series in Japan at that time.
Williams steered the Donna Logan trained gelding to win the Group 1 $500,000 Sky Racing Rosehill Guineas (2000m) at Rosehill on March 21 and was on board again when third to Mongolian Khan in the Group 1 $2m BMW Australian Derby (2400m) at Randwick on April 6.
“He is 99.9 per cent running in the Memsie with Blake to ride,” Logan told AAP.
“He will go to Australia next week. He is ready to race and I couldn’t be happier with him.”
The Murray Baker trained Mongolian Khan also proved too strong for Volkstok’N’Barrell when the pair quinelled the Group 1 NZ$750,000 TV3 NZ Derby (2400m) at Ellerslie on February 28.
The rivalry is set to continue through the Melbourne Spring Carnival with both Group 1 winners being entered for the Group 1 $3m William Hill Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 24.
Logan is very excited about the way that Volkstok’N’Barrell has returned to the stable following a short break after his Sydney Autumn campaign.
“He is a lot more bullish in himself and his attitude and you would almost think that he is a colt again,” Logan said.
“He is more of a grown-up and physically he feels a lot stronger.
“He seems a lot more aggressive in himself and his work, but I am not expecting him to come out and clean up in his first trial or anything stupid.
“The Cox Plate on the 24th of October is our goal, but I think that he will step-up on the way through and we should see some good performances out of him.”
In early Cox Plate betting with Ladbrokes.com.au Volkstok’N’Barrell is listed as a $21 chance while Mongolian Khan is marked at $26.
English galloper Arod shares the top spot in the market order with Autumn weight for age star Contributer at $10 just ahead of Queen Elizabeth Stakes winner Criterion and the Aidan O’Brian trained Highland Reel at $13.