Domestic Group One challenges lie ahead of the well-performed Volkstok'n'barrell, although a return to Australia hasn't been ruled out for the six-year-old.

The spring focus for the gelding is firstly on this Saturday's Gr.1 Windsor Park Plate (1600m) at Hastings, but he is tipped to be even more competitive in the Gr.1 Livamol Classic (2000m) a fortnight later.

"We certainly want to go back for the Livamol," said Donna Logan, who trains at Ruakaka with Chris Gibbs. "We think that is the best race for him."

Plans beyond the third leg of the Hawke's Bay Triple Crown series on October 7 have yet to be confirmed.


"At this point in time we will probably stay in New Zealand, but you never say never. Have horse, can travel," Logan said.

Volkstok'n'barrell has made three crossings of the Tasman and won the Gr.1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) in 2015. He also placed in the Gr.1 ATC Derby (2400m) and in the Gr.2 Hollindale Stakes (1800m) during last year's Queensland winter carnival.

The son of Tavistock, who galloped well between races at Ruakaka on Saturday, resumed this month after a seven-month break to finish fifth on his home turf over 1200m.

"He's come through the race well and he's looking good," Logan said.

Volkstok'n'barrell had to lump 64.5kg in his first appearance since winning the Gr.1 Herbie Dyke Stakes at Te Rapa in February.

• Connections of the black type-winner Rock On are agonisingly close to a Group One opportunity.

They face a nervous wait to see if their five-year-old can beat the ballot for a spot in Saturday's Windsor Park Plate (1600m).

Rock On is currently 15th in order of entry to the feature event at Hawke's Bay this weekend with 14 to face the starter.

"He's in great order and he can run in the 2000m race on the same day, but I don't want him to get too dour too soon and would much rather see him in the mile," trainer Gary Vile said.

The Windsor Park Plate is viewed as a better means to an end with the Gr.1 Livamol Classic (2040m) on October 7 seen by Vile, who produced Ransomed for an upset win in the race in 2013, as Rock On's best chance of Group One success.

"That will suit him much better, getting up to a trip at his third start," he said.

Rock On was successful in the Listed New Zealand St Leger (2500m) in the autumn, with that victory at Trentham earning him a trip across the Tasman.

He finished third in the Gr.3 Chairman's Handicap (2600m) at Randwick in his Australian debut and then again ran third at Flemington over 2500m.

After a break, Rock On had two trials in August and resumed on the opening day of the Hawke's Bay carnival to finish sixth over 1600m.

- NZ Racing Desk