Following a satisfactory first-up run in the Captain Cook Stakes, three-time Group One winner Volkstok’n’barrell will carry on towards the Zabeel Classic at Ellerslie on Boxing Day.
Making his first start since June, the Tavistock gelding missed the start in last Saturday’s 1600-metre feature at Trentham. He warmed into his work down the straight and crossed the finish line in sixth place, 3.2 lengths behind the winner Aide Memoire.
“It turns out he slipped quite badly at the start,” co-trainer and part-owner Chris Gibbs said. “That was why he missed the start – he normally never does that. His whole arse end went out from under him, and Matty Cameron said that was the end of it.
“It was a bit of a strangely run race. They went at a good speed early on, but then they packed up at the 800. I don’t think anything was going to come from the back and burst over the top of them. The winner scooted through and got away to win it, and full credit to her for that.
“He was always going to need the run. For him to win, everything was going to have to fall perfectly into place for him. Once he was slowly away, I knew it wasn’t going to happen. I was sitting with Sir Patrick Hogan and he turned to me and said, ‘Is that part of the plan?’
“But he made ground down the straight without bursting over the top of them, and we’re happy enough with that. He’s taken improvement from it and we’ll carry on towards the Zabeel Classic over 2000 metres on Boxing Day.”
Volkstok’n’barrell is already a Group One winner over the same course and distance as the Zabeel Classic, having captured the New Zealand Stakes in March. He also won the 2000-metre Rosehill Guineas in Sydney as a three-year-old.
He is likely to be accompanied in the Zabeel Classic by his stablemate Hasselhoof, who resumes over 1400 metres in the Listed J Swap Contractors 1400 at Te Rapa on Saturday.
News from The Informant.