A couple of months ago, Donna Logan didn’t know if she would be training Rosehill Guineas winner Volkstok’n’barrell this spring.
But after the owners knocked back an offer from Hong Kong, Logan has him ready to begin his four-year-old season in a Group One 1400m-race on August 29 in either his native New Zealand or Melbourne.
Logan said a decision would be made this week whether Volkstok’n’barrell runs in the Makfi Challenge at Hastings or the Memsie Stakes at Caulfield.
“He is ready and set to go either way,” Logan said.
“We are still tossing it over and I’ll be keeping a close eye on the weather because we want the best track for him.
“I think we are favouring Melbourne with the plan to run in the Memsie, the Makybe Diva and the Underwood on the way to the Cox Plate.”
The Makybe Diva (1600m) is the expected starting point for newly crowned New Zealand Horse of the Year Mongolian Khan from the Murray Baker-Andrew Forsman stable.
Volkstok’n’barrell ran second to Mongolian Khan in the NZ Derby and third behind him in the Australian Derby but Logan has not ruled out running him over 2400 metres again.
“We have entered him in the Caulfield Cup and I think he is much stronger and more mature now so that might not be out of the question,” she said.
If Volkstok’n’barrell runs in the Memsie it will be without his Rosehill Guineas-winning jockey Craig Williams who is riding in an international jockeys challenge in Japan that weekend.
“We have put out some feelers but that’s something else that needs to be decided,” Logan said.
She will also consider a race late in the Melbourne spring for unbeaten Hasselhoof, another horse she nearly lost to Asia after he claimed his second win from two starts in June.
A group of high-profile racing identities including Cambridge Stud’s Sir Patrick Hogan who stands Tavistock, the sire of both Hasselhoof and Volkstok’n’barrell, banded together to keep him in New Zealand.
“He’s still an immature horse so he will have one or two runs in New Zealand and then we would like to take him to Melbourne,” Logan said.