Kiwi trainer Donna Logan is hoping for a first three finish for Volkstok’N’Barrell in the Group 2 $358,000 All-New Jaguar F-Pace A.D. Hollindale Stakes (1800m) at the Gold Coast on Saturday.
Logan, who trains in partnership with Chris Gibbs at Ruakaka, took Volkstok’N’Barrell home after finishing a disappointing tenth to Winx in the Group 1 $3m The Star Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Randwick on the first day of ‘The Championships’ on April 2.
But she said that the Tavistock four year old has recovered from his hard run on the rain affected Randwick track and has returned to Queensland in fine order.
“The horse is very well in himself and he has thrived as they do when they get here to Brisbane,” Logan told RSN’s Racing Ahead.
“I am pretty confident that he will run first three.”
Logan said that she was disappointed with the state of the Randwick track on Doncaster Mile Day and that Volkstok’N’Barrell didn’t handle the wet conditions at all and she was prepared to completely overlook the run.
“He was gone when the gates opened, he was like on roller blades, he was going up and down basically, he hated it,” Logan said.
“Just forget he went around I reckon.”
“It was so deep and holding. The disappointing thing was that they hadn’t had rain since the Monday and we get to Saturday, it was still quite holding.”
“You would have liked to see it dry out with that amount of sunshine on it, nearly five days, so it was very disappointing.”
Blake Shinn has been given the job to help Volkstok’N’Barrel overcome barrier twelve in the fourteen horse field and Logan can see the three times Group 1 winner travelling in the first three in a fairly strong Hollindale Stakes field.
“There are some good horses in there. Chris Waller has a fair few of them,” Logan said.
“I am thinking that he should be in the first three. The drew is the only thing. We hope he can overcome that twelve draw.”
“But otherwise the horse is very well in himself.”
A good performance from Volkstok’N’Barrell in the Hollindale Stakes will see him head towards the Group 1 $650,000 The Bundaberg Rum Doomben Cup (2000m) at Doomben in two weeks time.
“If he shows he is good enough and we are happy with the run tomorrow, definitely that is the direction we will be going,” Logan said.
Volkstok’N’Barrell has raced well in Australia previously and was able to beat the Chris Waller trained Preferment in winning the Group 1 $500,000 Sky Racing Rosehill Guineas (2000m) at Rosehill during the 2015 Sydney Autumn Carnival.
And he was back in winning form during the Autumn in New Zealand this year when he scored back to back Group 1 wins in the NZ$200,000 Haunui Farm Classic (1600m) at Otaki on February 27 and in the NZ$200,000 Bonecrusher New Zealand Stakes (2000m) at Ellerslie a fortnight later.
Volkstok’n’Barrell is at the healthy double figure odds of $15 for the Hollindale Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au who have the John O’Shea trained Hauraki as the $2.80 favourite.
Hauraki’s stablemate Old North is next in the market order at $5.50 ahead of the local hope Sir Moments at $9 and the Gai Waterhouse trained Excess Knowledge and Chirs Waller’s French import Spiritjim at $10.
A.D. Hollindale Stakes market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $2.80 Hauraki, $5.50 Old North, $9 Sir Moments, $10 Spiritjim, Excess Knowledge, $13 Sakhee’s Soldier, It’s Somewhat, $15 Volkstok’N’Barrell, $21 Kool Kompany, Strawberry Boy, $26 Sir John Hawkwood, $34 Puccini, $41 Leebaz, $51 Honey Toast.