Logan using proven Group One launchpad
Donna Logan will again attempt to use Saturday's Listed Trevor Eagle Memorial (1500m) at Ellerslie to launch a Group One galloper.
The Ruakaka trainer has had five runners in the race since 2012 and remarkably three have gone on to win Group One races, while a fourth - 2014 runner-up Midnitemagicman - finished fourth in the Gr.1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) of his year.
|Hello It's Me Photo: Race Images Palmerston North|
Logan's 2012 winner Habibi went on to win the New Zealand Derby later that season, while her 2013 winner Rising Romance was second in the Derby before winning the Gr.1 Australian Oaks (2400m) at Randwick, then later finished second in the Gr.1 Caulfield Cup (2400m).
Logan produced Sultan Of Swing and subsequent Gr.1 Herbie Dyke Stakes (2000m) winner Valley Girl to finish third and fourth in 2015, but didn't have a runner in the race last year.
On Saturday, Logan and co-trainer Chris Gibbs will saddle promising Shocking colt Warset and exciting Darci Brahma filly Hello It's Me in the three-year-old feature as she continues to mould the classic hopefuls.
"It's been a good race to us and both these two horses definitely warrant their place in it. Let's hope they can go on and do what those other horses have done before them," Logan said.
Vodafone New Zealand Derby entry Warset was a winner on debut at Ruakaka and chased Hello It's Me when both filled minor placings at Ruakaka a fortnight ago.
"Warset hasn't got the best of draw,s but he's pretty well. He's the sharper of the two and if he had a better draw, he'd probably be the pick of my two," Logan said.
"Hello It's Me is definitely an Oaks filly in my eyes. The further she goes, the better she'll be. It's just whether the 1500m is too sharp for her at this stage."
Hello It's Me defeated Friday's Gr.3 Lucia Valentina Wellington Stakes (1600m) favourite Karisto on debut at Ruakaka before running home strongly behind Dijon Bleu for fifth in the Listed Soliloquy Stakes (1400m) at Ellerslie in October.
She was held up in running at Ruakaka last start and only went down a long neck over 1400m. She is also nominated for the New Zealand Derby in March.
TAB bookmakers opened Hello It's Me as a $9.50 fifth favourite, with Warset at $17 behind the unbeaten favourite Demonitization at $3.30.
Stablemate Volkstok'n'barrell is at $10 to win the Gr.3 Eagle Technology Stakes (1600m), with Logan rapt with the Tavistock gelding ahead of the set weights and penalties feature.
"He's superb. I’m really happy with him," Logan said.
"This isn't his best distance but it's a nice lead-up to get us to the Zabeel Classic."
Four-time Group One winner Volkstok'n'barrell, who was second to Consensus in last year's Gr.1 Zabeel Classic (2000m) at Ellerslie on Boxing Day, had a "freshen-up" after his last-start ninth in the Gr.1 Livamol Classic (2040m) at Hastings, Logan said.
"He'd lost a lot of weight so he went to the paddock then he's just come back and done all his work here at the track and on the beach.
"He's put the weight back on and he looks terrific. I'd like to think he can run in the first five on Saturday at least."
Logan and Gibbs have nine horses entered at Ellerslie on Saturday, with Kachhi and Gr.2 Rich Hill Mile (1600m) aspirant Romancer expected to race well. - NZ Racing Desk.