Volkstok’n’barrell is set to return to racing in the 2015 Memsie Stakes at Caulfield on Saturday and trainer Donna Logan is hopeful the Rosehill Guineas winner can finish in the top five in the Group 1 event.
The Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) and the Group 1 Makfi Challenge Stakes (1400m) in New Zealand were both considered options for Volkstok’n’barrell, but Logan made the decision to bring the Lord Tavistock gelding to Melbourne to start his 2015 Spring Racing Carnival campaign.
Volkstok’n’barrell has not been seen at the races since he finished a credible third in the Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m) at Royal Randwick on April 6 and Logan admits that her star galloper is not wound up for the Memsie Stakes, but she told Sky Racing HQ that she wants to see the four-year-old hitting the line strongly in the final stages of the race.
“We have weighed up all our options and we have decided to trek to Melbourne,” Logan said.
“It is probably an easier trip to get there then it is to go all the way to Hawke’s Bay and there looks like there could be rain towards the end of the week.
“If I see him getting home and running in the first five then I will be wrapped.
“It is a long way between runs for him and I think there are eight Group 1 winners in the race, so if he can be running on and getting into the first five placings I would be thrilled to bits.
“There are a lot of horses in there all having their first-up runs, so it will be very interesting and a lot of them won’t want to have a gutbuster in this race.”
Craig Williams rode Volkstok’n’barrell in both the Rosehill Guineas and Australian Derby during the 2015 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival, but the leading hoop will miss the Memsie Stakes meeting at Caulfield on Saturday in order to compete in the World All-Star Jockeys series in Japan.
Leading Sydney jockey Blake Shinn has instead been booked to take the ride on Volkstok’n’barrell and Logan does not believe that she will lose anything with the in-form hoop in the saddle.
“Blake’s manager had been ringing and ringing for the ride and obviously Hugh (Bowman) had gone and Damien Oliver had gone,” Logan said.
“Craig Williams wasn’t going to be there and it got to the point where we had to make moves, so we were more than happy to take Blake.”
The Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 24 is the major 2015 Spring Racing Carnival goal for Volkstok’n’barrell and he is currently priced at $21 to take out the Australasian Weight-For-Age Championship.