Volkstok’n’barrell could return to Australian racing after he took out the 2016 Haunui Farm WFA Classic at Otaki on Saturday in impressive fashion.
Volkstok’n’barrell was sent to the spelling paddock after he failed to fire in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield on October 17 and he returned to the races with a credible sixth in the Group 1 NRM Sprint (1400m) at Te Rapa on February 13.
The Lord Tavistock gelding went into the Haunui Farm WFA Classic as a clear favourite and he was settled in the first half of the field by jockey Vin Colgan in the early stages of the race, but he drifted back coming around the bend.
Volkstok’n’barrell took a while to get going when asked for an extra effort by Colgan, but he was far too strong in the final stages of the race and he ran away from his rivals to score a very impressive victory.
Trainer Donna Logan admitted after the race that she was not positive that Volkstok’n’barrell would be able to return to winning form in the Haunui Farm Classic, but she was clearly delighted to see her star galloper record his first race win since he took out the Rosehill Guineas 12 months ago.
“He did a lot of work in that race and he was still fat,” Logan said.
“I thought he would be at least a top three chance today.”
Volkstok’n’barrell has been included in the nominations for both the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Royal Randwick on April 2 and the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) a week later, but Logan refused to confirm that the four-year-old would return to Australia.
Logan said that Volkstok’n’barrell could remain in New Zealand for the Group 1 Bonecrusher New Zealand Stakes (2000m) and she will wait until she sees how the two-time Group 1 winner pulls up before she makes a decision on where he will have his next race start.
“It’s a long trip for him and I just want to get him home and see how he is,” Logan said.
“We’re very proud of the horse and it’s all about him so we’ll make a decision in due course.”
Volkstok’n’barrell is currently available at 2016 Queen Elizabeth Stakes odds of $26 with Ladbrokes, while he is priced at $34 to record an upset victory in the 2016 Doncaster Mile.