Donna Logan has confirmed that Volkstok’n’barrell will back-up in the 2015 Turnbull Stakes and the leading trainer believes that the talented galloper is close to peak fitness ahead of the Group 1 event at Flemington on Sunday.
Volkstok’n’barrell returned to the races with a credible seventh place finish in the Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on August 29, but he failed to beat home a horse in the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on September 12.
Jockey Craig Williams reported after the race that he was satisfied with the Makybe Diva Stakes effort of Volkstok’n’barrell and the Lord Tavistock gelding returned to a semblance of his best form with a grinding fifth place finish in the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on September 26.
Logan was pleased with the Underwood Stakes performance of Volkstok’n’barrell, but she told Racing Ahead that she is confident the four-year-old can produce an even better performance in the 2015 Turnbull Stakes.
“I was very happy,” Logan said.
“I know where he is fitness level wise and he has taken a lot of improvement from that race.
“He is only a four-year-old meeting the eight-year-old veterans and he is not 100 percent fit, so I am happy.
“The best part of his race was the last 200 and he has taken improvement from that.
“He has bounced out of it so well that he won’t take any harm out of it and I think you will see an improved run.
“I would say that he would go better than fifth and he has definitely improved.”
Volkstok’n’barrell has been included in both the Caulfield Cup and Cox Plate nominations, but Logan is yet to decide which race she will head to with her star galloper.
The Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 24 was the original 2015 Spring Racing Carnival target for Volkstok’n’barrell, but Logan revealed that she is happy to head to the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) in just over a fortnight if he produced a dour performance in the Turnbull Stakes.
“I think Sunday will tell us a lot more,” Williams said.
“The closer he gets to peak fitness, he sharpens up and he brightens up and he tends to go to a different type of horse.
“The way that he has been racing has been a bit dour, so we might look at the Caulfield Cup as opposed to the Cox Plate.”
Volkstok’n’barrell is currently available at 2015 Turnbull Stakes odds of $14 with Ladbrokes, while Alpine Eagle ($6) is a narrow favourite from Royal Descent ($6.50), Hartnell ($7), Amralah ($7.50) and Rising Romance ($8.50).