When the colours made familiar by star galloper Volkstok’n’barrell went past the post first at Ruakaka on Saturday, Derby flashed through Donna Logan’s thoughts.
Toorak Tower ridden by “Derby King” Vinnie Colgan had just caused a boilover in a maiden 3-year-old 1400m race saving TAB bookmakers a big payout on heavily backed hotpot Excalibur.
Standing over 17 hands, the lanky, powerful gelding was bred in Australia by Rosemont Stud who holds shares in Volkstok’n’barrell.
Rosemont had passed him in at auction as a yearling and sent him to Logan and Gibbs.
Logan trains the Toorak Toff gelding with Chris Gibbs and part-owns the big boy with Rosemont and Fern Vale Farm.
“I liked him so much I asked if I could buy a share,” she said. “Sometimes you have to back your judgement.”
With big, loping strides Toorak Tower held on to win at his second start and soon after he cooled down ambitious plans were being laid.
“Once he gets over a trip, who knows, we might have a Derby horse on our hand,” Logan said immediately after the race.
She had designs on the New Zealand Derby in March but she might be persuaded otherwise.
“Rosemont are keen to have him over there for the VRC Derby,” she said. “And I wouldn’t rule it out at all.
“We’ve waited for him and now he’s showing us what he can do.”
The stable will test him over a mile against the older horses at his next start.
“He’s a big, playful dumbo at this stage but he’s got a hell of a stride and will stay all day so we will see how he progresses.”
His stablemate Volkstok’n’barrell is getting ready for a trial in three weeks before kicking off in the Lion Red Plate (1215m) at Rotorua on October 15.
“The sprint probably isn’t his go but we’re pretty much restricted to weight-for-age because of the handicap he’d get in other races,” Logan said.
He will then step up to 1600m races at Tauranga and Ellerslie on his way to the Group I Zabeel Classic (2000m) on Boxing Day.
Copy by Tim Ryan