Volkstok’n’Barrell more than announced himself to the Australian racing community via a strong campaign through the recent Sydney Autumn Carnival, and trainer Donna Logan is confident he is forward enough to win Saturday’s featured Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield.
A standout performer in his native New Zealand prior to crossing the Tasman for the Autumn Carnival, Volkstok’n’Barrell produced a monumental turn of foot in the final straight to take out the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) on March 21st; progressing to a credible third in the Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m) on Day 1 of The Championships.
Having taken huge benefit from his time away from competition, Logan told Racing Ahead she is pleased with the Lord Tavistock gelding’s condition ahead of the 2015 Memsie Stakes and believes the conditions of the race should play into the strengths of her runner more than most.
“He left here this morning at 9:30 and will have a few hours in Auckland before he gets on his flight,” Logan said.
“He went down to the beach this morning and had a little trot, canter and paddle in the ocean.
“He’s bright as a button. I’ve sent him over in good order and I just hope he arrives in the same order.
“He’s definitely strengthened up in his self and has more of a man’s attitude than a young teenager. He’s got a lot more strength about him.
“1400m is a nice start for him and we just hope the track stays in good order. It is a good line up, I think there’s eight Group 1 winners in the noms but I’m sure some of the horses he’s meeting, the distance will probably favour him a bit more.
“I think he’s forward enough but whatever he does, I think he’ll take a lot of improvement from the race.”
Logan has underlined the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 24th as the major target for Volkstok’n’Barrell this time, and confirmed she will allow the four-year-old’s performance on Saturday to dictate the path taken to the feature race.
“We’ve got the option of the Makybe Diva in two weeks and then the Underwood after that,” She added.
“We’ll just see what he does on Saturday and how he comes out of it before we make the commitment.”
Posting six wins and four minors through his ten career starts, Volkstok’n’Barrell won each of the Group 2 Great Northern Guineas (1600m) and Listed Karaka Mile (1600m) upon resuming this year; progressing to third in the Group 2 Avondale Guineas (2100m) and second in the Group 1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) prior to his trip to Australia.
Ladbrokes.com.au is currently offering the best 2015 Memsie Stakes odds, for which Volkstok’n’Barrell can be taken at a quote of $7.50 for success.