Racing: Kiwi bid to break drought

By Mark Oberhardt

Volkstok’n’barrell attempting to become first NZ horse to win Doomben Cup since 2001.
Volkstok'n'barrell (red colours) "is spot on" for his Doomben Cup tilt, says trainer Donna Logan. Photo / NZ Racing Desk
Volkstok'n'barrell (red colours) "is spot on" for his Doomben Cup tilt, says trainer Donna Logan. Photo / NZ Racing Desk

Talented Volkstok'n'barrell is ready to break a long drought for New Zealand in the group one Doomben Cup in Brisbane on Saturday.

Volkstok'n'barrell was having his first start since being well beaten in the Doncaster Mile when he came from near the tail of the field to finish third in the group two Hollindale Cup two weeks ago.

New Zealand-trained horses have won the Doomben Cup five times since it became a weight-for-age race in 1990, starting with Rough Habit's three-peat from 1991 to 1993.

But the last New Zealand-trained galloper to win the cup was King Keitel in 2001.

"We are overdue," Ruakaka-based trainer Donna Logan said.

Logan was in Brisbane this week to supervise Volkstok'n'barrell and liked what she saw at trackwork ahead of Saturday's race.

"He really needed the hit-out in the Hollindale. Volkstok'n'barrell got well back and had to make a long sweeping run," Logan said.

"The month between runs told at the end but I was very happy with the effort. In fact, I was stoked.

Volkstok'n'barrell has bloomed since the Hollindale and Logan will be disappointed if her stable star doesn't race well.

"He is spot on. He has really tightened up and the track should suit him," Logan said.

Volkstok'n'barrell drew ideally in barrier five and Logan hopes he will be closer to the speed than he was in the Hollindale Cup.

Logan and her training partner Chris Gibbs also have Melbourne spring cups in mind for Volkstok'n'barrell.

The 2015 Rosehill Guineas winner, Volkstok'n'barrell hasn't won past 2000m but was placed in the 2015 ATC Australian Derby and New Zealand Derby at 2400m.

Volkstok'n'barrell's jockey Blake Shinn will be aiming for two wins in the cup in three years after combining with Streama in 2014.

Godolphin pair Hauraki ($3.60) and It's Somewhat ($4.50) head Doomben Cup markets with Volkstok'n'barrell on the third line of betting at $6.

Rangipo will run in the Fred Best Classic (1350m). Photo / Steven McNicholl
Rangipo will run in the Fred Best Classic (1350m). Photo / Steven McNicholl

Kiwi trainer Tony Pike has a nice winter carnival team, including New Zealand Derby winner Rangipo who will run in Saturday's Fred Best Classic (1350m) on the way to his main goal of the Queensland Guineas.

Rangipo has won seven from 12 starts, including his past three, but Pike says he isn't a true stayer despite his NZ Derby win.

"He doesn't really stay but at the time of the Derby he was just in great form and very fit," Pike said.

"He should be okay fresh at 1350m in the Fred Best but he will be a lot better once he hits the Guineas at a mile."

Meanwhile, Pike hasn't yet seen anything in the winter carnival two-year-old ranks to dissuade him from his opinion that Sacred Elixir will be in the JJ Atkins up to his ears.

Godolphin two-year-old Souchez was an eye-catcher and a big market mover in the JJ when he charged home for third behind Winning Rupert in last Saturday's Champagne Classic.

"Souchez did close that race off well but I wouldn't swap my fella," Pike said. "I'm pretty excited about him and I think he is a pretty serious horse."

- AAP

- news.com.au

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