Third Group 1 For Volkstok'n'barrell

Donna Logan would have felt justice was served at Ellerslie on Saturday after Volkstok'n'barrell survived an inquiry before she was able to celebrate another Group One victory with the four-year-old.

A year ago, the Ruakaka trainer produced the top mare Rising Romance to finish runner-up in the New Zealand Stakes behind Sakhee's Soldier and a protest against the winner failed to change the result.

Twelve months on and Volkstok'n'barrell got home by the barest of margins from a determined Girl Of My Dreams with the latter's connections having their protest dismissed.

The pair bumped 75 metres from home but, as senior stipendiary steward John Oatham observed during the hearing, neither jockey had to stop riding.

"It was a great effort and the pace was on all the way and we just got there," said Logan, who prepares Volkstok'n'barrell with Chris Gibbs.

The victory furthered the imperious record Volkstok'n'barrell has at Ellerslie where he has won five of his seven starts, including the Gr.2 Great Northern Guineas, the Gr.3 Bonecrusher Stakes and the Listed Karaka Mile.

His other two appearances at Ellerslie resulted in a runner-up finish in the Gr.1 NZ Derby and a third in the Gr.2 Avondale Guineas, both behind the current Horse of the Year Mongolian Khan.

On Saturday, Volkstok'n'barrell settled close to the pace and one off the fence under Vinnie Colgan before knuckling down to a fight with Girl Of My Dreams, which he won by a nose to deny Dylan Turner his first Group One success.

A last-start winner of the Gr.1 Haunui Farm Classic at Otaki, Volkstok'n'barrell joined the millionaires' club with his thick end of the stake and the possibility of adding considerably to his account at the Sydney autumn carnival.

While a programme has yet to be confirmed, the gelding has an attractive 52.5kg in the $A3 million Gr.1 Doncaster Handicap on April 2 and he also holds a nomination a week later for the $A4 million Gr.1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes.


Image: Trish Dunell

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