Volkstok'n'barrell will be the best horse at Ellerslie on Saturday but punters will have to wait another week to back him.
The multiple group one winner and his talented stablemate Hasselhoof will give an exhibition gallop, to help fit them for the Captain Cook Stakes (1600m) at Trentham a week later.
The weight-for-age Captain Cook has long been on Volkstok'n'barrell's programme but a start was in doubt after a stone bruise forced him to miss the Tauranga Stakes (1600m) on November 12.
However, he has made a comparatively quick recovery and remains on target for a trip to Trentham.
The Captain Cook will also serve as his leadup to the Zabeel Classic (2000m) at Ellerslie on Boxing Day.
Volkstok'n'barrell had two trials last month but has not raced since having three starts at the Brisbane winter carnival.
"He's on the big side and will benefit from the run at Trentham," co-trainer Donna Logan said. "But he's well in himself and we are pretty happy with him."
Volkstok'n'barrell is a classy act and the 5-year-old has had seven wins and three placings from 11 starts in New Zealand.
He was runner-up to Mongolian Khan in the 2015 New Zealand Derby, before winning the Rosehill Guineas in Sydney and finishing third, behind Mongolian Khan and Hauraki, in the Australian Derby.
He struggled at the Melbourne Spring Carnival as a 4-year-old but three starts in New Zealand last term produced two group one wins. He ran sixth in the NRM Sprint (1400m) at Te Rapa fresh-up, before winning the Haunui Farm Classic (1600m) at Otaki and the Bonecrusher New Zealand Stakes (2000m) at Ellerslie.
Hasselhoof has been freshened since his brave third in the Livamol Classic (2040m) at Hastings on October 1 and is heading towards the City of Auckland Cup (2400m) on January 1. "He looks great," Logan said.
Stablemate St Jean is also heading to the City Of Auckland Cup and might have a leadup run in the Waikato Cup.
St Jean had his first start for Logan and training partner Chris Gibbs when sixth in the OMF Stakes (2000m) at Ellerslie on Melbourne Cup Day.
St Jean, a 7-year-old and the veteran of only 16 starts, was a winner in Ireland before winning four of his eight races in Australia and Logan is confident the horse will run 3200m.
All Roads, another rising staying star in the stable, resumes work this week and has been nominated for the Auckland and Wellington Cups.
The Road To Rock 5-year-old has had four wins and a second from five starts for Logan and Gibbs, winning a rating 85 2100m at his last start. "Ï think he's very good," Logan said.
The stable has a strong team of 3-year-olds and nominated 17 horses for the New Zealand Derby at Ellerslie on March 4.
The Derby entrants do not include beaten Two Thousand Guineas favourite Mongolian Falcon who will not race again this term, if at all.
Mongolian Falcon came out of the Two Thousand Guineas with a slab fracture in a knee. The Fastnet Rock colt has since had an operation and will be confined to a box for six weeks, with no guarantee that he will be able to race again.
Wyndspelle, who had bruised feet after the Two Thousand Guineas, will probably race next over 1400m at Ellerslie on Boxing Day.
Ruakaka stable plans
Volkstok'n'barrell will open his racing campaign in Captain Cook Stakes.
Stablemate St Jean is preparing for the City Of Auckland Cup.
Logan and Gibbs have nominated 17 runners for the NZ Derby.