Top young Kiwi galloper Volkstok’n’barrell is set for a first-up run at Caulfield Racecourse at the end of August in the Memsie Stakes 2015, trainer Donna Logan plotting the spring campaign of the Rosehill Guineas winner.
A rising four-year-old son of Tavistock, the New Zealand-trained Volkstok’n’barrell had his first run down under in the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) on March 21 after a second behind Mongolian Khan in the Group 1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) the month before.
First-up in Australia there was no stopping the progressive stayer who narrowly held on to defeat Preferment before going back up to the mile and a half in the Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m) at Royal Randwick in April.
There he finished a brave third when under a length off the horse he was second to in the NZ Derby, the Murray Baker-trained Holy Roman Emperor colt Mongolian Khan who is now equal $13 favourite with the John O’Shea-trained Hartnell to win the $3 million Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 17.
Volkstok’n’barrell, who is part-owned by Rosemont Stud in Victoria, is also in the futures Caulfield Cup odds at Ladbrokes.com.au paying $21 for the win.
On way to the spring majors Logan plans to give the up-and-comer a chance at more elite level success including first-up on August 29 in the $400,000 Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m).
Before the Memsie, Volkstok’n’barrell is likely to trial at home before the races at Ruakaka on Saturday.
If he puts in a strong gallop this weekend then it will be straight to Melbourne in the Memsie.
Logan though would also be happy to keep him at home for an easier resuming run in New Zealand’s Group 1 Makfi Challenge (1400m) on the same day as the Memsie Stakes.
“It’ll be good for him, but he’s definitely going to need it (the trial),” Logan told Racing Ahead on RSN.
“He’s doing very well in himself I might say, it’s like he’s been on holidays for too long, but it’s a nice pipe-opener for us and will tighten him up a bit before we decide Memsie or Makfi.
“But we’re leaning at this stage to the Memsie.”
Wherever he kicks off, Logan is confident the horse will be a strong spring competitor having come through his spell in good order and with a newfound maturity.
“He’s a lot more bullish in himself and his attitude,” she said.
“You’d almost think he was a colt again.
“He’s got quite ‘bully’ and he’s more a grown up than he was. He was a young boy when he travelled over last time but he’s turning into a young man now.
“I think he feels physically a lot stronger and he looks it. He seems a lot more aggressive in himself and his work.”
His long term aim this Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival is the ‘race where legends are made’ – the $3 million Group 1 W.S. Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley Racecourse a week after the Caulfield Cup.
“Obviously the Cox Plate on the 24th of October is our goal, but I think he’ll step up on the way through and we should see some good performances out of him,” Logan said.
Current Cox Plate odds have Volkstok’n’barrell at $26 for the win, markets set to firm with the nominations out next week.
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