Racing: Logans keenly anticipate future

By Mike Dillon

Habibi takes a step up by winning the Great Northern Guineas at Ellerslie yesterday. Photo / Natalie Slade
Habibi takes a step up by winning the Great Northern Guineas at Ellerslie yesterday. Photo / Natalie Slade

The best is yet to come.

You can as good as take Donna Logan's word for that.

If you think the Ruakaka trainer is in awe of her unbeaten filly Habibi you're on the money.

"I am so excited," said Logan after Habibi sat three wide and waltzed away with yesterday's $100,000 Stella Artois Great Northern Guineas.

Logan wasn't talking about a runaway win in a group two classic - which would get most owners excited - she's talking about what is still to come.

"She won four from four all up to 1600m and I originally thought she couldn't possibly win a race under 2000m. Wait until she gets up to staying distances."

The cynics were quick to point out that Habibi covered close to 2000m by sitting three wide throughout the race.

Vinny Colgan said he hadn't been concerned. "I was in a good patch of ground and she felt comfortable."

The important element was that sitting three wide allowed Habibi to stay handy - an absolute necessity on the rain-affected footing. Horses that dropped back to the second half of the field had no chance.

Co-trainer Dean Logan said he and Donna had agonised over whether to run Habibi in the Guineas or the previous race, the $100,000 Eight Carat Classic.

"In the finish we reckoned Fix is a very good filly and if we ran in the Guineas we'd get 1.5kg weight allowance over the males."

Dean Logan had not been concerned about the Guineas opposition.

"Her work the other morning is the best I've seen from any horse of ours for a long, long time," said Dean Logan.

"She's quite freakish."

Like a good percentage of the good racemares and fillies, Habibi is a bitch to handle. Donna Logan calls her: "My tough, wicked woman."

All has already been forgiven as you do with any horse that wins by nearly four lengths in a group race.

As far as the Logans are concerned, watch this space. "Not sure whether we'll send her around in the Royal Stakes on January 1."

A decision to not later-scratch Deliciano from the $30,000 Dunstan Feeds Championship Stakes Qualifier paid dividends.

Not only with this victory yesterday, but now a live chance in the final on New Year's Day.

In a desperate finish, Deliciano and Steel Giant fought bravely with the former just managing to work a winning margin late under Leith Innes.

- NZ Herald

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