Donna Logan admits she is a wee bit nervous as she counts down to her first major challenge in Singapore with stable star Volkstok'n'barrell, who will tackle all-comers in the rich Kranji Mile (1600m).
She has made a stunning start to her Singapore training stint, having produced her first winner from just four runners to date, a feat which has made locals take note of the former Ruakaka-based conditioner.
Logan will up the ante over the next fortnight as multiple Group One winner Volkstok'n'barrell tackles the S$1.5 million ($1.62 million) Kranji Mile on May 26, in the process taking on the cream of the local talent along with invited runners from Hong Kong and New Zealand representative Ocean Emperor.
"Things have got off to a great start so far but taking on the best in the Kranji Mile really lifts everything up a notch or two," Logan said.
"Our horses have acclimatised to the heat well, including Volkstok'n' barrell, although he is a little behind the others as he arrived later from New Zealand than is ideal.
"He was held up through vaccinations and the like which has meant I've been a little behind where I would like to be with him leading in to the race.
"He will trial on Tuesday and it would have been nice to have had a trial before now, but all in all, he is ready to run a big race."
While Logan admits to some trepidation over the timing of the race for Volkstok'n'barrell, she can't question the way the six-year-old Tavistock gelding has settled into his new surroundings.
"He is as bright as a button and has really taken to his new surroundings," she said.
"He goes out for a pick of grass in the afternoon and has been bucking and squealing, so he is definitely a happy horse.
"On his best form, he will be very competitive, and I have the added advantage of Craig Grylls riding him.
"Craig has been in great form of late and has been riding him in work since the horse arrived, so they have established a good rapport."
Although victory in the race would represent another significant milestone for both horse and trainer, Logan is looking beyond the immediate challenge to further action for her star.
"There are four or five more feature races over the coming months that will suit him down to the ground, so there is plenty to look forward to," she said.
"We just want to see him acquit himself well, as I believe he can make his mark here as the top galloper we know he is."
- NZ Racing Desk