What were members of New Zealand racing royalty up to when spotted in deep discussions with local police on a roadside just outside of Geelong this week?
Photographic evidence shows a down-cast NZ champion trainer Donna Logan, being comforted by NZ breeding patriarch Sir Patrick Hogan while under the control of police on the Bacchus Marsh Rd in Lara, Geelong. Closer examination of the photo shows legendary Hall Of Fame trainer Jim Gibbs in the passenger seat of the car that police had pulled over.
The shock photos, taken this week, were amidst a three-day Victorian tour for the team that also comprised Logan’s training partner Chris Gibbs and prominent owner Ashley Goodwin.
But before reputations are soiled, all can be easily explained as Rosemont Stud’s Anthony Mithen points out.
“No goss, no scandal! The crew were over to sus out appropriate stabling for our very own Volkstok’n’barrell who’s spring aim will be the Cox Plate,’ Mithen said.
“He will do the bulk of his racing in the spring in Melbourne so will be based here. The guys wanted to have a look at Rosemont’s pre-training set-up and were suitably impressed, but nearly didn’t get in the gates!
“Ashley has a vintage Ford LTD that the guys were cruising around in for the three days but it sprung a leak and needed emergency work to limp into Geelong! The Rosemont repairs couldn’t stop the spewing of black smoke and poor Ashley got pulled up by the local coppers and slapped with an EPA notice!”
The drama was a laughing point for the Kiwi party who also took in a tour of facilities at Aquanita, Caulfield and Malua, Flemington as possible bases for the Rosehill Guineas winner this spring.
“We have just taken on the magnificent 60-box facility complete with sand track, water walker, treadmills – the works – at Lara.Mark Young is running it for us and doing a sensational job for the likes of Clint McDonald, Gai Waterhouse, Darren Weir and Malua amongst others, so it would be tremendous to have big Volk based in Geelong for the spring,” Mithen said.
“It’s a magnificent facility,” Logan said.
“We have had a great time getting around the tracks and had a great Volkstok’n’barrell/Rosemont dinner in Geelong as well. Time to get back and get the team ready for the spring.”
Gallery of images from the “Logan and Hogan Aussie Tour”.