Sydney in the back pocket for Volkstok’n’barrell


RUAKAKA trainers Donna Logan and Chris Gibbs are covering their bases with Volkstok’n’barrell, which could make the trip across the Tasman if their weekend plans go awry.

They have their stable star on target for the Group One Livamol Classic at Hastings on Saturday, but have planned ahead in case wet weather ruins the opportunity to contest the weight-for-age event.

“He’s ready for Hastings as long as the rain stays away,” Logan said.

“If it’s wet – and I hope it isn’t – he won’t run.

“We’ve looked at the option of running him in Sydney a week later. There’s a weight-for-age race over there that could suit him, but I’d prefer to start at Hastings.”

The Sydney option is the Group Three Craven Plate at Randwick on October 14 worth $A500,000.

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Volkstok’n’barrell has had two previous trips to Sydney.

The first resulted ina successful tilt at Group One Rosehill Guineas in 2015 before finishing third to Mongolian Khan in the Group One ATC Australian Derby. The horse returned to Sydney in the autumn of 2016 for the Group One Doncaster Handicap, but struck a soft track and finished 10th.

Volkstok’n’barrell finished fifth over 1200 metres when resuming at Ruakaka last month. Following that the horse recorded an eye-catching fifth to Gingernuts in the Group One Windsor Park Plate (1600m) on the second day of the Hawke’s Bay Carnival, which boosted the confidence of the racing team.

“I thought his run down there last time was very good,” Logan said.

“The (slow) track was a bit of an issue and he hits a flat spot at the 600 metres. He couldn’t get out enough to get in the mix but finished it off well.”

Colgan was reunited with Volkstok’n’barrell in the Windsor Park Plate and will be in the saddle again on Saturday.

“Vinnie gets on so well with him,” Logan said.

Colgan has had six rides on Volkstok’n’barrell for three wins and each of those victories have been at Group One level. The horse continues to make inroads according to the trainer.

“He’s improved and he galloped beautifully this morning,” Logan said after his Tuesday workout.

“I’m very happy with him. He’ll be hard to beat on Saturday if he gets a good track.”

Logan says there are further options for Volkstok’n’barrell after the Livamol Classic, but the main focus has always been the Hawke’s Bay feature.

“We’ve looked at a few races, but nothing is set in concrete,” she said.

“We want to get this one out of the way. This is what he has been set for.”

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